Storm spawns tornado

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, February 19, 2008

By Staff
Damage done along Beaufort-Martin county line
Senior Reporter
One tornado, possibly two, chiseled a path Monday morning along the Beaufort and Martin County line.
The storm touched down around the intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and Bear Grass Road, traveled northeast until it calmed down after passing through Jamesville, according to the emergency management departments in both counties.
The storm moved through the U.S. 17-Bear Grass Road intersection area of Beaufort County at around 4:30 a.m. Monday, he said.
The weather service classified the tornado as a minimum F1 storm, with winds approximately 100 miles-per-hour at its center, Pack said.
Fourteen structures, including two residences, were damaged, he said. When assessing the scene, often one structure would be damaged while the one next to it would not be, he said.
Barns were down along the storm’s path, he said.
Boards from structures were embedded into the ground up to 12 inches, which means rotating winds forced them into the ground, not straight line winds, Pack said.
He said a vehicle, one that a man had pulled over on a road shoulder because of blinding rain, was picked up and swirled around with boards and debris breaking glass and entering the vehicle.
The man was startled, but unharmed, Pack said.
Pack said the storm showed no single track and that it appeared that either one storm branched off into two tracks or there were two storms. In about two weeks, he said the weather service will report its official findings on whether there had been one or two tornadoes in the area.
The Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department was on the scene quickly, Pack said.
Thomas Wall, Martin County emergency management coordinator, said a streak of damage from approximately two miles north of the Martin County and Beaufort County line left some structure damage and many tree limbs down.
According to the National Weather Service, which was on the Martin County scene Monday, he said there was probably some tornadic activity accompanying the straight-line winds.
Both Wall and Pack agreed that the storm in northern Beaufort County was associated with the storm in southern Martin County.
Wall said the storm moved through the Farm Life community and through Jamesville until it calmed down.
Wall said two homes and two businesses were damaged in Jamesville.
Anne Keyes, emergency management coordinator in Washington County, said there was very little damage in Washington County from Monday morning’s storms.
Hyde County received no damage from the stormy morning, said Tony Spencer, emergency management coordinator for Hyde County.