A National Weather Service survey crew says it has confirmed an EF-2 tornado touched down in Newberry County on Wednesday afternoon, damaging a half-dozen homes outside the small town of Prosperity.
“We have confirmed with our survey so far EF-2 tornado damage, which is at least 110 miles per hour (wind),” Meteorologist in charge of the NWS Columbia office Richard Okulski told reporters shortly after looking at damage on-site Thursday.
Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said the majority of property damage is located at six homes east of Prosperity along Cy Schumpert Road between Mid Carolina High School and Macedonia Church Road. “We’ve got one house severely damaged and several houses that have extensive roof damage,” Foster told radio station WKDK. “But we don’t have any that I would consider totally destroyed.”
Mayor Derek Underwood said the apparent tornado passed just southeast of Prosperity and the damage is visible from town limits.
“Right on the outskirts of the town limits is where the tornado touched down,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “And there is some pretty extensive property damage.”
The NWS is also examining if a second tornado touched down west of Saluda earlier Wednesday. No injuries were reported in either storm. Saluda County authorities say there was little damage in their county beyond downed trees, with the exception of one tree which fell on a home.
Okulski said the team was in town to determine the storm’s intensity — radar on Wednesday afternoon confirmed the two tornadoes.
“We were able to use the radar to determine the debris that was picked up by the tornado was in the radar signature,” he said. “So what we were doing (Thursday) is coming out here and… assess the specifics of the damage track in terms of strength and also in terms of distance.”