A deadly, suspected tornado ripped through the area of Brunswick County in southeastern North Carolina late Monday night, claiming at least three lives and injuring at least 10 others.

“It’s something like I have never seen before. A lot of destruction," Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said at a press conference. "It’s going to be a long recovery process."

As the sun rose Tuesday morning, more and more images of damage from the destructive twister emerged.

"Devastating damage to many homes, especially in the Ocean Ridge Plantation area," the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) said on Facebook. "BCSO, Brunswick County Emergency Services and multiple fire and law enforcement agencies remain on scene assessing damages and working to clear debris from roads."

The tornado was spawned by the ongoing winter storm that has draped the nation in heavy snow and ice. AccuWeather meteorologists previously forecast that the storm had the potential to trigger severe weather in the Southeast due to the system's clash with warmer air in the region.

The fatal twister initially pounded the Ocean Ridge Plantation area late Monday night, shortly before midnight. According to local emergency management officials, over 50 homes were damaged, including multiple that were completely destroyed.

Brunswick County Emergency Management said people were trapped in homes and the Wilmington Fire Department said on Twitter that teams would be sent to help find people throughout Tuesday.

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