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Weather blog | Allendale and Bamberg County tornadoes 1 week later

We take a closer look at the amount of damage and talk the latest numbers from the NWS.
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2022 at 7:17 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - In the late afternoon of April 5th a complex of thunderstorms were forming across Screven and Allendale counties, from those thunderstorms spawned a large and destructive tornado that led to a path of devastation. The National Weather Service confirmed that 7 tornadoes touched down across 4 counties in the CSRA last Tuesday.

Turning back the clock to that afternoon we can use our high-resolution radar to see the storms forming around 5 o’clock. With warm temps in the 80s, high moisture levels, and plenty of lift in the air from the approaching front, the atmosphere was primed for severe weather. At 5:30 as the rotating thunderstorm approached Allendale, the national weather service issued a rare tornado emergency. The Charleston office confirms that at its largest, the tornado was 1,000 yards wide or about the length of 10 football fields, packing winds of 137 mph.

But this wouldn’t be the only powerful tornado of the day, another ef3 would develop just to the north of Allendale and just after 6pm we spotted a classic blue debris ball on radar. Our high-resolution radar indicated that the tornado launched debris close to 15,000 ft in the air.

Tornado debris signature (blue color) located near Ulmer, SC.
Tornado debris signature (blue color) located near Ulmer, SC.(wrdw)

On the ground Mizpah Church narrowly missed disaster. When we surveyed the damage ourselves we ran into Donnie Ayer who was thankful the church didn’t take a direct hit. He says, “at least it didn’t do any more damage than it had done. The wind came through the front, blew out 2 windows, blew out the back window and blew the shingles off, right now that’s the only damage we’ve had.

As the tornado moved past Mizpah Church it continued to strengthen with winds close to 160 mph, snapping softwood pine trees and hardwood trees.

We met up with John Quagliariello of the National Weather Service in Columbia as he and his team were out surveying the damage. The last time they saw damage like this was two years ago in April of 2020. See the full interview below:

The tornado would end up having a total track of nearly 35 miles finally dying out in Bowman, SC in Orangeburg County, and would be the last tornado-warned storm of the day.

Click through the videos below for more of our drone footage:

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