A National Weather Service assessment team has confirmed a small EF-0 tornado damaged trees near a Mount Pleasant neighborhood during Tropical Storm Irma’s track through the city Monday.
The assessment team concluded the “weak, short-lived tornado” formed over the marsh between Mount Pleasant and Sullivan`s Island before coming ashore near the south end of Pine Island View Road. The team said it did not find any structural damage beyond a blown-down fence, but it did find plenty of fallen limbs and uprooted trees. The damage indicated a tornado rather than a microburst or straight line winds.
A NWS forecaster told South Carolina Radio Network the tornado is the only one confirmed so far despite several other reports Monday. The forecaster said there are other potential sites, but the agency is not sure when it will be able to visit the areas.
The report said the tornado moved quickly north-northwest after coming ashore, moving through the Oakhaven Plantation neighborhood. Eyewitness accounts and radar data indicate the funnel cloud lasted about two minutes before dissipating.
EF-0 is the lowest possible measurement on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds estimated between 65-85 mph.