NWS: EF1 tornado touched down in Orangeburg County

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The Hughes Chicken Farm in Bowman was damaged in Tuesday afternoon's storm. The Hughes Chicken Farm in Bowman was damaged in Tuesday afternoon's storm.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF1 tornado touched down near Whetsell in Orangeburg County Tuesday afternoon.

NWS says the storm that whipped through the county spawned the tornado around 3:29 p.m.

According to NWS, the tornado's path was approximately 2.25 miles long. The estimated 100-mph winds downed trees and power lines, officials said.

The Highway Patrol says the storm knocked a tree down on Interstate 26 east near the I-95 interchange, blocking that side of the road around 3:45 p.m. The road reopened a few hours later.

Emergency officials say strong winds from the storm also knocked down dozens of other trees in Orangeburg County.


The Hughes Chicken Farm in Bowman was heavily damaged with workers there cleaning up after one chicken coop was flattened by the storm.

Haley Jacobs and a few other teenagers were home alone during the storm.

"I looked outside and saw this big cloud over there and I told my brother to turn on the news. So, I was standing at the door and I didn't know what to do," said Jacobs.

Jacobs says she watched the tin roof of a nearby shed fly through the air and land on her front lawn.

The popped poles cut out power to many residents in Bowman, St. George and other parts of Orangeburg and Dorchester counties.

Mid-afternoon traffic on the eastbound lane of Interstate 26 was stop and go while debris was cleaned up on the highway.

So far, there have been no reports of injuries.

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