PROSPERITY, SC (WIS) - Members of the National Weather Service on the ground in Newberry County have confirmed a tornado touched down there on Wednesday afternoon during a round of storms.
At a noon news conference, NWS officials confirmed an EF-2 tornado with sustained winds of at least 110 MPH whipped through Prosperity, damaging homes and toppling trees.
"With EF-2, I've seen injuries and unfortunately fatalities in past surveys in my career, so we're very fortunate with this event," NWS Columbia Meteorologist Richard Okulski said.
In Prosperity, some homes are missing roofs, power was knocked out, and trees and other debris are scattered all across the area on Cy Shumpert Road.
Richard Hare heard the tornado sounds before his family's property experienced Mother Nature's fury as a big tree fell over.
Could not be here talking to you, but I thank the good Lord I'm here talking," Hare said.
Several said prayers as they realized the storm traveled about 10 miles in Prosperity.
"I really believe this hill behind us may have saved us a good bit," resident Randy Suber said.
Hare will never be able to understand natural disasters, calling this one perhaps a sign from God -- of something.
"Things happen. You don't understand what happened, but you don't know what's trying to get your attention or what," Hare said.
No injuries have been reported.
Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster says that Wednesday's storms are a reminder to sign up for Smart911, which could help public safety respond faster and be better prepared for an emergency.
The Red Cross is assisting families affected by the storm, emergency staff thanking the first responders who worked through the storm to make sure neighbors were safe.