ALLENDALE COUNTY, S.C. — A large, dangerous tornado is confirmed to have touched down in Allendale County, South Carolina, but the full scope of the damage it caused is still being evaulated.
The twister was seen on radar around 4 p.m. Eastern Tuesday, and quickly, there was high concern. Forecaster could see a strong area of rotation with the system, and the debris that the storm was creating could be seen on Doppler radar.
That prompted the National Weather Service to issue this rare statement, a tornado emergency: "A Tornado Emergency is in affect for Allendale, SC and headed toward Sycamore, SC. THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION!!"
Videos quickly surfaced on social media showing the large twister on the ground. At present, it's not known exactly how large or how fast the wind speeds were. That evaluation will come later by National Weather Service officials.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division said they have one confirmed injury but that one is non life-threatening. An earlier report of a storm-related death appears to have been inaccurate, according to the agency.
Images of downed trees and power lines and other damage showed some of destruction. Emergency teams from both the county and state officials were sent to assess the situation.
Edisto Electric Cooperative, which serves that area, confirmed the winds had damaged parts of our distribution system in that area, including at least three substations. Customers were urged to call 1-800-433-3292 to report outages.
The Allendale County School District confirmed there will be no class on Wednesday due to the damage.
A rapidly moving cluster of thunderstorms was responsible for the severe weather outbreak. In anticipation of severe weather, the Storm Prediction Center has placed the southern Midlands in an enhanced risk of severe weather, and that turned out to be the area that saw the worst of the storms.
Historically, South Carolina's greatest risk for tornadoes is the month of April.