Survey teams from the National Weather Service say they have confirmed at least four separate tornadoes touched down across northwestern South Carolina on Sunday night, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Nate passed further north.
No deaths have been reported, although one person was seriously injured. The teams listed two of the tornadoes as EF-2 intensity, which means winds around 111-135 miles per hour.
The first touched down in Pickens County, starting in the community of Norris and moving northward along Twelve Mile Creek for three miles as sit touched down briefly three separate times. The last touchdown ended west of Liberty near Tammy Drive. Pickens County emergency officials said at least two dozen homes were damaged, including five that were either seriously damaged or destroyed. A commincations tower was also damaged. Amazingly, there were no serious injuries — but one county near Norris had a very close call.
“They got the warnings on their cell phones and everybody gathered up into one corner of the home,” the county’s deputy Emergency Management Division director Pierce Womack said. “And that was the only corner of the house left standing. Everything else was completely gone.”
A second EF-2 tornado also touched down in Laurens County. The National Weather Service said damage was fairly continuous from Interstate 385 to just west of the unincorporated Tylersville community, snapped or uprooting many hardwood trees, and damaging outbuildings, houses, and manufactured homes. Laurens Academy canceled classes on Monday due to the damage to its campus. A trailer park east of Laurens received severe damage with several trailers destroyed and one injury being reported. The damage path was widest at the end of the swath at Glenn Springs.
A third EF-0 tornado touched down Sunday evening several miles southwest of Buffalo in Union County. The winds downed trees and blew roof panels off a home and to an outbuilding. The survey team said highly variable damage paths of debris and eye witness evidence confirmed a brief tornado. A small EF-1 tornado also damaged a home in the town of Chappells in Newberry County.