A reader asked recently about waterspouts. We see them occasionally in the water around Ocracoke. They are always impressive, but rarely do damage. Of course mariners keep as far away from them as possible. Occasionally destructive waterspouts/tornadoes will make it to the shore. Several years ago a soundside cottage was hit by a large waterspout/tornado. Luckily, no one was in the building because the turbulence lifted the entire house off the ground, carried it into the sound, and blew it apart. All that was left were the concrete steps and the old concrete cistern. You can still see the empty lot at the end of North Pond Road.
Here is more information about waterspouts from Wikipedia:
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the wreck of the Victoria S, and Ocracoke's first automobile accident. You can read it here.