EMERALD ISLE, N.C. -- Ten days after Hurricane Dorian passed over the coast, an Emerald Isle business is deemed a total loss.

  • Artisan Granite and Marble was completely destroyed by the tornado on September 5
  • The winds were 11-135 mph
  • The owner and 13 employees are out of work

Hours before the hurricane arrived, a waterspout formed in the Atlantic Ocean. It advanced toward land until it became an EF-2 tornado.

On the morning of Thursday, September 5, Mike Denmead got a call from the fire department saying his business, Artisan Granite and Marble, had been in the path of its 111-135 mph winds.


"I came right over here to inspect the damage and it was pretty devastating at that time," said Denmead.

He found parts of his roof ripped off, ceilings collapsed, and one less building on his property.

“I think it flew, it skipped across my other buildings, my showroom here, my saw shop, and finally came to a rest about 150 yards or so from where the foundation is," he said with a laugh.

His insurance adjuster deemed his showroom building a total loss. He and his 13 employees are out of work until the damages are fixed, or until a new space is found to work from.

In the aftermath, Denmead said his competitors offered help.

“It’s hard to pinpoint the emotions because there’s so many of them,” he said.

Above all Denmead said he is glad there was no loss of life. 

Town Manager Matt Zapp said after the tornado, surrounding municipalities including New Bern and Jacksonville volunteered to help remove 400 tons of debris in four days.

"This level of mutual aid is simply amazing," said Zapp.

A total of 43 mobile homes, 40 RV trailers, and two local businesses were heavily damaged.