Aiken County damage reports, updated curfew restrictions

Tree in road on South Boundary in Aiken. Taken by Velma.
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If you are in Aiken County and need help, call 803-641-4152.

March 15, 2008

AIKEN, S.C. -- Thankfully there are no reports of injuries in Aiken County after tonight's storms, but the county saw severe damage.

There are several reports of tornadoes touching down and extensive damage throughout Aiken County, in the Valley from Clearwater to Bath and Graniteville to Warrenville.

The fire department says a tornado touched down on Pine Log Road and on Briar Patch Road. A volunteer firefighter also reports that twisters may have touched down on Cherokee Drive and on Columbia Highway near Aiken.

State of Emergency

At 8 o'clock, Sheriff Michael Hunt declared a state of emergency for Aiken County and began enforcing a curfew across the entire county. He told News 12 the curfew will stay in effect for certain areas until 7 am tomorrow morning.

The county-wide curfew has been lifted, but the curfew does remain in effect for the areas of the 118 Bypass in Aiken - South to Highway 125 (Atomic Road). Also under the curfew is Pine Long Road to Ascauga Lake Road.

"Please, if you don't have to come in this area, go home," Sheriff Hunt said. "We are still searching for people, doing some damage assessments, make sure we've got folks accounted for. It would help us if you would get off the highways in the area."

Trees crush man's home

News 12 talked to a man who lives on Pine Log Road. Two huge trees fell on his house, one into his bedroom.

We also found several trees and power lines down on the roads.

Three funnel clouds

Sheriff Hunt said his office received reports of three funnel clouds, one which he said was confirmed by a deputy. The storms hit hardest in the Bath area, where the top of the Bath water tower was blown off.

The sheriff says the hardest hit areas from the storms include Bath and Clearwater Heights, which were described as "severe" and "major" by law enforcement. There roofs were reportedly blown off houses, houses were demolished in the Clearwater area, and power poles were snapped off "block after block after block", said Sheriff Michael Hunt. Areas also receiving damage, though not as bad, include the Midland Valley area, Graniteville, North Augusta, South Aiken, Monetta, & New Ellenton.

No injuries

As of 10 p.m. Saturday night, the Sheriff's Department had received no reports of injuries.

Bath without water

People in Bath were without water late Saturday night. Their water tower was hit by a tornado, and so was the Bath fire station. When the water comes back on Sunday, folks need to boil their water for ten minutes before they drink it.


Sheriff Hunt says there have been some reports of looting, but deputies will be on the lookout for that.

"I want to be very clear as a sheriff," Hunt said. "We will not put up with breaking into buildings or looting or stealing. We're going to put you in jail. Period. You're not going to take advantage of our citizens."

If you are in Aiken County and need help, call 803-641-4152.

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