A Look Back at the 1994 Lexington Tornado

Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- Twenty years ago on Saturday the town of Lexington was struck by a tornado as remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl moved through the southeast.

While the storm produced lots of inland flooding in Georgia and in Florida, the storm may have made its biggest impact here in the Midlands.

"I ran for the store and hid on the floor and I started crying, I was so scared I didn't know what to do," said one unidentified lady who witnessed the tornado in 1994.

The tornado had estimated winds between 158 and 206 mph as it struck the town's central business district, destroying homes and businesses in its path.

Another unidentified witness to the storm said, "The pressure was awful and the glass breaking and then finally the pressure left and I knew it had passed us and we came out of our office and we watched it go across the road."

Lexington County officials compared the damage to a war zone along Highway 378, former Lieutenant Governor Nick Theodore was thankful it wasn't worse.

Theodore said, "Property damage is extensive, but up to this point fortunately the injuries seem to be minor and we can only hope that there are no undisclosed ones that will come forward and cause us any further consternation."

The tornado was responsible for at least 40 injuries but no deaths according the South Carolina State Climatology Office.

A miracle to many who saw the fury of the tornado firsthand.

Today the buildings and homes have been rebuilt and it is hard to find evidence of the storm, but for those that lived through it 20 years ago, they will likely never will forget that August afternoon.

"It was just something I've never seen before and I don't ever want to see it again, it was just awful," said another unidentified witness.

According to the South Carolina State Climatology office, 22 tornadoes were confirmed that day in South Carolina, making it the second largest tornado outbreak in state history.


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