The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday that it was a tornado that hit Simpsonville on Wednesday, downing trees and power lines and causing damage to homes.
An NWS survey team confirmed the tornado after assessing site damage on Thursday. Meteorologist and survey team member Steve Wilkinson told South Carolina Radio Network that it likely had winds of 86-110 miles per hour. “We have a tornado that’s was an EF-1, a pretty high end EF-1. Did a lot of damage to the roofs of some very well-built homes,” he said.
“A lot of very large, both pine and hardwood trees that were snapped and uprooted. Some pretty intense areas of that,” said Wilkinson.
He said that the tornado touched down in West Georgia Road area of Simpsonville, tracking east and passing through several neighborhoods south of Greenville Technical College’s Brashier campus until it crossed through the town.
“Damage assessment crews are working in the area around West Georgia and Fork Shoals roads, which is in the South Greenville Fire District,” said Jay Marett of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Division. “We’re starting to work on the damage assessment inside and surrounding the city of Simpsonville. So this is going to be ongoing over the next few days.”
Wilkinson said other than the tress and roofs of homes being damaged some cars and sheds were also damaged. A heating and air business along an Interstate 385 frontage road suffered a partial collapse, according to Marett. Greenville County Schools said Woodmont High School suffered some damage to its gym and two greenhouses, although that was further west than where the National Weather Service believes the tornado touched down.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter Wednesday night in Simpsonville for families affected by the storms.