COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The National Weather Service has confirmed that two EF1 tornados touched down in Calhoun and Sumter counties Thursday morning with wind gusts around 100 mph.
There were numerous reports of downed trees and power lines in the area. Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said most of those incidents were reported in the Ft. Motte area, in the northern part of the county. He said there were no injuries reported or structural damage at this time.
In Sumter, the tornado's path is about 12 miles long and is believed to be part of the same tornado that hit Calhoun County. Wind speeds hit 90 mph, with a path about 20 yards wide. Officials said the main damage was tree damage and the siding on a house.
Straight line winds are to blame for storm damage in St. Matthews, according to the National Weather Service. It said wind speeds were around 85 miles per hour.
The Sumter County Sheriff's Office also reported storm damage that was contained to the southeastern portion of the county. Downed trees could be found along Highway 15 near Pack Road. Chief Deputy Hampton Gardner said a deputy's vehicle also received moderate damage after a tree limb struck it. He said most of the damage was the result of high winds. The National Weather Service is on its way to the area to survey the storm damage.
An SCE&G spokesperson said as of 7:00 a.m. Thursday, more than 1,600 people were without power because of the storm.
A tornado watch is still in effect until 8:00pm for Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties.
Emergency management officials reported property damage, including a roof ripped off of a house near Lenoir, as a line of storms moves through the Carolinas. No serious injuries were reported.
Caldwell County spokeswoman LouAnne Kincade said several homes were damaged early Thursday near Lenoir. Trees and power lines fell. Several roads were closed.
Henderson, Transylvania, Macon and Burke counties all reported tornado sightings. Trees and power lines were reported down in those areas, as well as Caldwell, Guilford and Madison counties.
Hail and funnel clouds were reported from storms Wednesday evening near Greensboro, N.C., but no major damage was reported.
Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. AP and WBRC contributed to this report.
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