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Home Weather Extreme Tornadoes destroy 14 homes across 5 SC counties

Tornadoes destroy 14 homes across 5 SC counties


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) – South Carolina Emergency Officials tallying the damage from this week’s severe weather say a total of 14 homes were destroyed and 41 homes sustained damage.

The hardest-hit counties were Allendale and Bamberg, according to a report released from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

In Allendale, four homes were destroyed and 11 homes were damaged. Three non-life-threatening injuries were reported there. Bamberg County reported five homes destroyed and 15 damaged. Orangeburg County reported two homes were destroyed while 10 were damaged. In Clarendon County, three homes were destroyed in the storms and Horry County reported five homes damaged but none destroyed.

Two EF3 tornadoes touched down in Allendale County

The National Weather Service reported a pair of EF3 tornadoes touched down in Allendale County. The first, which was reported at 3:50 p.m., had peak winds of 137 mph. It touched down just north of the intersection of Bluff and Best Loop Roads, then destroyed a few mobile homes, and injured one person.

The tornado then continued to the northeast across Burton Road and Allendale- Fairfax Highway, where it produced significant damage to a building and many trees, NWS officials say. From there, the tornado then moved across Confederate Highway and then across the northern end of Sycamore, ending on the northeast side of Sycamore, near Williams Road. Most of the damage around the Sycamore area was to trees, as well as minor damage to some structures. It was on the ground for approximately 20 minutes.

The second EF3 tornado to touch down in Allendale County had a peak wind of 160 mph and was on the ground for approximately 50 minutes tracking nearly 35 miles. The tornado tracked through Allendale, Bamberg and Orangeburg Counties before dissipating.

The tornado touched down near Ulmer, around 6:03 p.m. as an EF2 and snapped trees and telephone poles. The initial touchdown point was along Wells Branch Road near the Barnwell County line in Allendale County and crossed into Bamberg county near the intersection of Highway 321 and Highway 301.

After this point, the tornado rapidly intensified and moved through a large forest of mostly softwood pine, with hardwood oaks in the forest for some stretch. As it approached Popeye Road in Bamberg County, the tornado strengthened into a strong EF3 with winds estimated at 160 mph.

“Remarkable damage was done to both softwoods and hardwoods in this forest, with an estimated 2 miles of 80-100% forest blowdown,” a National Weather Service damage survey report states.

Strong EF3 damage is estimated to have continued from Popeye Road across Kirkland Creek and then towards Wild Flower Road in Bamberg County. From here, the tornado weakened a bit as it approached Alligator Road. The tornado was near its peak width at this time, then striking a more residential area along Carver Road where, one mobile home was destroyed, with a home having its roof completely gone and some partial wall collapses.

On either side of the center of the track, other homes sustained different degrees of damage to their roofs and siding. The tornado continued northeastward and maintained some EF2 strength as it did so, primarily to trees.

Much of the damage on Macedonia Church Road was from trees falling on homes.

“The tornado showed signs of weakening by this point as it approached Orangeburg County, and it is distinctly possible that there were multiple weak vortexes impacting only the tops of trees,” the storm report states. “EF0 and weak EF1 damage was noted until the county line with Orangeburg, where the tornado regained some of its strength and continued doing damage.”

The report states the tornado approached the North Fork of the Edisto River and impacted a couple of homes, doing some significant tree damage on both properties.

As the tornado approached Freedom Road in Orangeburg County, it produced EF0 and EF1 damage continuing to snap trees. The tornado continued to weaken gradually as it approached the city of Bowman, finally dissipating about 2 miles north of the city around 6:53 p.m.

Smaller tornadoes touch down in Dorchester, Colleton Counties

A weak tornado of EF0 intensity touched down Tuesday at 7:12 p.m. with peak wind speeds of 73 mph in Dorchester County near the intersection of U.S. 78 and Horne Taylor Road. The tornado continued northeast across a mostly-wooded area, producing sporadic tree damage.

It ended approximately seven minutes later just northeast of East Main Street in Harleyville.

Another EF0 tornado, with peak winds of 75 mph, touched down in Colleton County Wednesday night at 10:59 p.m. just west of Alison Lane, where it snapped and uprooted a few trees.

The report states it moved east across a wooded area snapping additional trees before moving across Sandy Springs Circle, ending just east of there after snapping and uprooting trees and destroying a fence.

The report listed a total of six tornadoes affecting South Carolina and a seventh in Bryan County, Georgia.

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