The Wilmington Fire Department said teams requested by the state emergency management are deploying to locate the missing people.
Earlier, the National Weather Service Wilmington Office reported structural damage and power lines and urged people to avoid the area.
CNN has reached out to the Brunswick County Emergency Management Office for additional details.
Storms will continue in the area and tornado watches are still in effect for Eastern North Carolina, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.
Areas to the north of Wilmington including the Outer Banks through to Elizabeth City remain under watches until 8 a.m., he said.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.