COLUMBIA, S.C. — Five tornado touchdowns in the Midlands have now been confirmed from last Friday's storms, based on new information that came in Monday from survey teams.
Late in the afternoon, the National Weather Service said their investigation of damage in Clarendon County confirmed there was a touchdown in an area near Lake Marion. While they didn't have all the exact details on path, strength, and size just yet, the weather service says the tornado is preliminary rated an EF-2. That's a tornado that has wind speeds between 111 and 135 miles an hour.
A more precise estimate of the wind speeds will be released soon.
Previously, the weather service in Columbia said that survey teams had confirmed two tornadoes struck in Orangeburg County and two more touched down in Newberry County.
Two EF-1 tornadoes were found in Newberry County, one near the town of Whitmire, the other about 8 miles from the town of Newberry. Two tornadoes were in Orangeburg County: one and EF-1 just east of Orangeburg that went into Calhoun County, and the other just south of Rowesville. The first one was also an EF-1, while the Rowesville tornado was an EF-2.
E-F stands for "Enhanced Fujita," and is the scale which measures tornado intensity. An EF-0 tornado is the weakest, while an EF-5 is the strongest. The strongest tornadoes ever recorded in South Carolina are an EF-4 (including the 1994 tornado outbreak in Lexington); the large, catastrophic EF-5s typically occur in the central United States, in places such as Oklahoma or Kansas.
The weather service says damage in Sumter County was caused by straightline winds, not a tornado. Those winds toppled a tree onto a home, severely injuring a 3-year-old boy.
Below are the official tornado surveys which have been released so far, which give much greater detail about the strength, size, and path of the tornadoes.
The following are the tornado surveys we've received that show the path and intensity of each tornado.
Start location: 4 miles west of Branchville in Orangeburg County, SC
End location: 3 miles northeast of Rowesville in Orangeburg County, SC
Estimated time: 1:48 pm EDT
Maximum EF-scale rating: EF-2
Estimated maximum wind speed: 115 mph
Maximum path width: 300.0 yards
Path length: 10.64 miles
Summary: An EF-2 tornado touched down along the south fork of the Edisto River near South River Road. The tornado then moved quickly to the north-northeast for nearly 11 miles, crossing Hudson Road near the north fork of the Edisto River, Calhoun Street, Highway 21 south of Rowesville and then lifted along Bethel Forest Road. The tornado did considerable damage, snapping and uprooting a large number of hardwood and softwood trees along its path. Several trees fell onto homes, vehicles and sheds. A metal shed was destroyed with debris spread over 50-100 yards. The tornado was on the ground for about 8 minutes.
Orangeburg/Calhoun County border:
Start location: 2 miles east-northeast of Wilkinson Heights in Orangeburg County, SC
End location: 4 east northwest Cameron in Calhoun County, SC
Estimated time: 2:01 pm EDT
Maximum EF-scale rating: EF-1
Estimated maximum wind speed: 110 mph
Maximum path width: 400.0 yards
Path length: 7.87 miles
Summary: An EF-1 tornado touched down near the intersection of Old Elloree Road and Odell drive. The tornado then moved quickly to the north-northeast for nearly 8 miles, crossing Cloverdale Lane, Gramling Road, Interstate 26, Glenzell road, Cameron road, Shulmer Road, and finally Mount Carmel Road. The tornado then moved into Calhoun County and crossed Church Camp Road and Belleville Road and lifted before reaching Highway 176. The tornado did considerable damage, snapping and uprooting a large number of hardwood and softwood trees along its path. Trees fell onto several mobile homes, destroying at least 2 of them. Walls collapsed on a cinder block garage with the metal roofing tossed across the roadway. At least one home had shingles removed from the roof. An agricultural center pivot irrigation system was also knocked over. The tornado was on the ground for about 8 minutes.
Start Location: 5 S Whitmire in Newberry County SC
End Location: 3 SSE Whitmire in Newberry County SC
Estimated Time: 2:07 PM EDT
Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF1
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 105 mph
Maximum Path Width: 200 yards
Path Length: 1.97 miles
Summary: An EF1 touched down near Asias Branch Road and moved quickly to the north-northeast. The tornado downed a few trees along with large branches near Asias Branch Road. The tornado continued toward Jeanette Road and then to Old Newberry Highway. The most extensive damage occurred along Old Newberry Highway near the intersection with Jeanette Road. The tornado completely destroyed a large 2 story chicken house that was constructed of oak beams and insulated with a tin roof. There were numerous trees damaged in this area. Some trees were snapped, uprooted and large limbs were blown off. A small out building sustained damage to the metal roof and siding. Another small shed behind a mobile home was moved two feet off of the foundation. There was damage to the under-pinning of the mobile home.
Mollys Rock Area:
Start Location: 8 NNE Newberry in Newberry County SC
End Location: 8 NNE Newberry in Newberry County SC
Estimated Time: 02:08 PM EDT
Maximum EF-Scale Rating: EF1
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed: 95 mph
Maximum Path Width: 25.0 yards
Path Length: 0.33 miles
Summary: An EF1 tornado briefly touched down between Highway 176 and Mollys Rock Road. After touching down along Highway 176, it moved quickly north to Mollys Rock Road. Most of the damage was restricted to a small area along Mollys Rock Road. At this location a several trees were damaged. There were three hardwood trees and one soft wood tree that were snapped. One large oak tree was snapped off near the ground and the other trees were snapped off about 15 to 20 feet above the ground.
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