By: Lynnsey Gardner and Michael White Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner and Michael White Email

March 16, 2008

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - The Storm Prediction Center estimates Saturday's storms produced 33 tornadoes across Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

More than 10 tornadoes touched down in the CSRA.

The storm started in Alabama around 3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon.

It hit the CSRA first in McCormick County during the late afternoon and early evening. Trees are reported down on Highway 81 in Willington. Golf ball sized hail was also reported.

Edgefield County had a possible tornado touchdown on Highway 378W near the McCormick County line. A number of trees and power lines fell down on houses in the area.

Jefferson County had several tornados reported by the public. Wrens saw possible tornado damage to church, several businesses, massive power outages and trees down. Georgia Power is still working in the area today trying to restore power. 400 employees have been dispatched to Jefferson County and contractors are asked to stay away right now because power lines are still in the road and the area has not been given the all clear by Georgia Power.

Matthews, in Jefferson County, also had reports of a tornado according to the Storm Prediction Center. An unknown number of mobile homes were damaged in this area.

Keysville in Burke County also saw a possible tornadoes. The Sheriff's Office reported large trees down and hail near road 305 South of Keysville.

Aiken County saw possible twister damage in North Augusta, Clearwater, Belvedere, Bath, Graniteville and Warrenville. The local fire department reported to News 12 touchdowns off of Briar Patch Road and Pine Log Road. Highway 421 was also heavily damaged with debris, but was since reopened as of 2 o'clock this afternoon (March 16).

The storm system also spurred possible tornadoes in Orangeburg SC, with a touchdown reported in downtown Branchville, damaging a fire station on Sairy Street. Emergency dispatch says a number of commercial business and homes were damaged or destroyed in the town of Branchville.

Blackville, in Barnwell County, also reported a tornado touchdown that continued eastward to Branchville.

Denmark, in Bamberg County, also reporting possible tornadic activity with trees down in the downtown area of Denmark.

Hail reports were issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Wilkes County, Columbia County, Burke County, Warren County, Jefferson County, McCormick County, Saluda County, Edgefield County, Barnwell County and Aiken County.

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  • by Susan James Location: Grovetown GA on Mar 18, 2008 at 05:59 AM
    Thankfully, Grovetown didn't get the brunt of the storm --- just rain, wind and that eerie feeling that the weather was very unsettled. My concern is this: I didn't have the TV or radio on during the time the storm was ripping through the CSRA. Shouldn't some type of siren have been activated to alert citizens? At the least, the siren would have indicated you tune in to the TV or radio for updated messages/warnings? I know others that were also clueless of the storm system because, they too, didn't have the TV or radio on. Just a concern regarding notification process. Thanks.
  • by to chris in wrens from Wondering Location: Grovetown on Mar 18, 2008 at 05:02 AM
    I too am glad they covered the damage in Wrens. I am also thankful no one was seriously injured as a result of the tornados. By the way, still wondering about Appling.
  • by chris Location: wrens on Mar 17, 2008 at 12:23 PM
    thanks for all the coverage of our small town. honestly the pictures you see don't do justice to just how much damaged this storm caused here. a strip close to 15 miles long and a mile wide just ripped the town apart.
  • by agree with wondering on Mar 17, 2008 at 08:41 AM
    I have a cousin that lives there she was trapped in her basement for awhile til they were able to get the trees and debri moved to get her out. She was ok thank god.
  • by Wondering Location: Grovetown on Mar 17, 2008 at 05:31 AM
    Why has no one covered the damage in Appling? I realize it is a small community but they lost at least one home and have damage to several others. Let's not forget about the smaller communities. Come on News 12, I thought better of you!
  • by Shelby Sanders Location: Allendale, SC on Mar 16, 2008 at 08:38 PM
    We had a tornado touch down here in our county also on Saturday evening. It did major damage along highway 125 crossed over to highway 278 totally demolishing one home lots and lots of damage still working on power lines to restore power
  • by cortnie Location: Evans on Mar 16, 2008 at 06:32 PM
    I am a storm spotter from Columbia County-Evans. I live off of Hardy Mcmaus. There was only a tree down at the corner of Hailei Farms and Hardy Mcmaus Rd. There were numerous braches and pine cones in my neighborhood but NO real damage. There was high winds appox. 95-100 MPH, and heavy rain (1/2 Inch).
  • by Shari Location: Hopeland Farms on Mar 16, 2008 at 05:23 PM
    We relied on a scanner we had used several years in the past. I too am a Storm Team 12 spotter. We heard on the scanner of super cell on Hwy 1 toward Aiken, and heard the Public Safety and city was to take cover. We heard of the Aiken Mall being in danger. After seeing the rain sideways & the sky with a green tint our family went to our hall. My husband said a prayer for our safety. We could hear the crackling above us, along with lots of hail. I notice pressure on my ears, but I've had some sinus issues so I brushed it off, sort of. When we couldn't hear the flower decoration beating on our front door we left the hall. No damage to cars. Some paint has been pelted off our garage door. 10 minutes later while checking other structures I found hail the size of dice in our yard. I need to have NOA and WRDW in my cellphone so I'll have it when needed. Thank you for teaching me what to listen/look for. We were cautiously prepared and Blessed. Our power was returned at 1:30AM Sunday.
  • by Ellie Location: Waynesboro on Mar 16, 2008 at 04:35 PM
    No heavy damage in Lake Crystal. Marble sized hail, lost power for 3 hours. Nearby, at Hwy 56 South and Usher Rd., many trees knocked down or uprooted. One homeowner lost her back porch, and her small barn wound up wrapped in trees on the opposite side of Hwy. 56. Trees down in a nearly straight path through the woods off Hwy 56 North near Usher Rd. Thankful for my NOAA radio!
  • by Anthony Location: South Aiken on Mar 16, 2008 at 01:35 PM
    I am a StormTeam 12 Trained Storm Spotter from Aiken. I live a block away from the intersection of Silver Bluff Rd and SC Hwy 118. I was following the progress of the storms coming into Aiken County on the TV, my computer, and listening to my scanner. When TV 12 and the other stations went off the air possibly due to electrical outages I relied on my computer and scanner for reports. I heard the Aiken City 911 tell units there was a tornado on the ground in the Valley. Shortly afterwards the wind picked up and it got real dark. Then all of a sudden the rain came down sideways in torrents. Hail was hitting the ground during this time which lasted about 5 to 10 minutes. I was trying to call TV12 during this event but the lines were busy. In that 5 to 10 minutes of rainfall my rain gauge collected 1 inch of rain and my entire yard was flooded. I took StormTeam 12's Storm Spotter course last year and I hope to attend it this year to refresh. Thank you for your coverage yesterday.
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