Storm hurts timber industry in Allendale, Bamberg counties

Drone photos show a tornado’s track through a pine forest in Bamberg county, resulting in...
Drone photos show a tornado’s track through a pine forest in Bamberg county, resulting in downed and snapped trees.(South Carolina Forestry Commission)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 4:58 PM EDT
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BAMBERG, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Timber resources in Allendale and Bamberg counties were among the hardest hit in South Carolina during strong winds and tornadoes April 5, state forestry officials said Friday.

At least eight confirmed tornadoes April 5 caused an estimated $741,860 in damage to timber, South Carolina Forestry Commission officials say.

Seven teams of foresters conducted tornado storm damage surveys covering more than 6,000 acres, surveying plots along tornado paths to assess the damage to the forest resource.

The crews found most of the surveyed areas saw some timber damage, but only 315 acres were damaged so severely that they will have to be reforested.

The hardest-hit counties were Allendale, Bamberg, Calhoun, Clarendon and Orangeburg.

Of these, Allendale County had the most forest acres damaged, 3,389.

Bamberg County experienced the greatest dollar-value loss at just over $380,000.

Landowners who suffered storm damage can apply for Emergency Forest Restoration Program assistance by calling 803-806-3820.

“From a statewide perspective, this timber damage represents very little of the state’s total timber value,” said the South Carolina Forestry Commission’s Russell Hubright. “But for those landowners who were adversely affected, the damage has a very real negative impact. So our focus right now is providing technical expertise to individual landowners and helping them access any federal financial assistance that will be available.”

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