Three injuries reported after tornado rips through Allendale

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Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 9:06 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 7:02 AM EDT
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ALLENDALE, S.C. (WIS) – On Wednesday families in Allendale County were picking up the pieces after a tornado ripped through the area on Tuesday, leaving significant damage.

According to the South Carolina Emergency Division, three non-life-threatening injuries have been reported.

The American Red Cross of South Carolina is currently assisting 15 families after the tornado impacted their homes.

Representative Justin Bamberg has asked that Governor Henry McMaster declare a state of emergency in Allendale and Bamberg counties.

Officials say four homes were destroyed, five homes had major damage and six homes had minor damage. More damage assessments will be done Wednesday.

Eletha Kearse, who lives in Ulmer, suffered damage to her trailer, and is praising God because she said it could have been much worse.

As a tornado ripped through the county, Kearse was watching coverage on TV until it came to her doorstep.

“I’m letting everybody else know what the storm was doing, and not knowing not that the storm was headed our way,” she said. “Next thing you know lights went off, next thing you know I heard a sound over my trailer. And I said ‘Lord, it done hit.’ And all I could do was just pray and cry and just ask the Lord just to cover us.”

Half of her awning got blown to the other side of the home.

The window of Kearse’s car got smashed by a refrigerator that was outside. She credits her carport for stopping the fridge from being picked up and thrown on top her home.

There’s also a leak on inside, and she didn’t have power until 7am this morning.

“We could’ve been gone yesterday but God spared our life because as you know, a trailer don’t stand a chance on a tornado, that’s just like a piece of paper,” she said. “So like I said, I am truly blessed. My daughter and my niece are truly blessed today because we’re alive and this is my testimony that I can tell people, do not take a tornado for a joke because it is real.”

Surveying storm damage across the county on Wednesday, WIS found trees ripped up and downed power lines on multiple roads.

WIS also found metal tanks rolled across fields on Railroad Ave. in Allendale, and cars smothered by fallen trees.

There were also collapsed silos on farms, and all sheet metal crumpled like aluminum foil.

Amid the wreckage, Kearse found perspective.

“Like I tell people, my trailer and my car are material things, but God spared our life yesterday and that’s a blessing,” she said.

Allendale County Schools were closed on Wednesday, and will be closed again on Thursday.

Allendale-Fairfax Elementary School was used as a shelter on Tuesday night following the storm.

The Red Cross tells WIS that it’s unclear at this point if the school will be reopened as a shelter on Wednesday night.

Per SCEMD, those wanting to help Allendale County residents affected by the recent storm in Allendale County can make donations of non-perishable food and cleaning supplies. You can do that by calling 803-584-4556 or 706-360-0443.

SCEMD tweeted these photos after the storm Tuesday.

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