North Carolina residents are facing a massive cleanup in the wake of the worst tornado outbreak in nearly 30 years
The twisters destroyed or damaged 800 homes and took the lives of at least 22 people. The city of Raleigh alone sustained at least $65 million in damage.
"I saw just a big cloud, right there in front, a big dark cloud," tornado survivor Daniel Alvarez recalled. "Like, it was coming towards us and when it came towards us everything turned white with the wind kicking in really hard, houses flying everywhere."
"In the blink of an eye, so many people have been plunged into grief and crisis," said Preston Parrish, executive vice president of ministry at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The organization dispatched its disaster-response teams to four areas of the state.
Gov. Beverly Perdue, who was in Kentucky when the storms hit, is pledging quick support to help survivors rebuild their homes.
Perdue ordered that all U.S. and North Carolina state flags be flown at half-staff Tuesday "in tribute to victims of the deadly tornadoes that swept through the state on Saturday and the countless responders who have saved lives and prevented additional injury," her office said.