ELIZABETH CITY, NC -- It didn't take long for many people in Elizabeth City, North Carolina to realize that things were going get worse before they got better Friday night.

'Well the wind picked up really bad and started hearing things banging around and wasn't sure what it was. Then we felt the house shaking and trying to move,' said Rhonda Harper.

The storm toppled trees and collapsed a barn across her field and trees fell on her car.

Sandra White said she feared for her life.

'At 6 o'clock, the Spirit told me to leave home, go somewhere safe,' she said.

She gathered her family and went to her mother's apartment to ride out the storm.

White returned home to find trees had fallen onto her home and the yard littered with broken branches.

Like so many others, Saturday was a day to be thankful and begin the hard work of cleaning up.

'I am grateful to him that I still have my family because you can replace worldly things, but you can't replace life,' White said.

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) said state Emergency Management are helping localities make damage assessments to determine if the event reaches the threshold of a disaster declaration.

'Thankfully, we do not have any reported fatalities from the string of severe thunderstorms that raked through the northern half of our state,' said McCrory. 'Last night's storms provide a good reminder to us all that with the warmer weather, the probability of severe storms and tornadoes increases.'

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