Possible Tornado Leaves 7 Hurt In Florence County - WSPA.com

Possible Tornado Leaves 7 Hurt In Florence County

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Courtesy: WBTW Courtesy: WBTW
Courtesy: WBTW Courtesy: WBTW
Florence County, SC -

Seven people were hurt and nearly half of a mobile home park was either damaged or destroyed by a possible tornado near Florence on Tuesday evening, officials said.

Representatives from the National Weather Service office in Wilmington will likely survey the damage on Wednesday to determine if it actually was a tornado.  As of early Wednesday morning, the NWS reported the damage and injuries were a result of straight-line winds.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued around 7:15 p.m. and around that time reports of damage from high winds started coming in.

An employee at the Florence Airport spotted a funnel cloud from his location at work, although it affected other areas in the county.

Red Cross officials told WBTW-TV volunteers and staff responded to the scene at Rosewood Mobile Home Park.

Out of 40 homes in the mobile home park, 17 were either destroyed or damaged, said Capt.. Mike Nunn, spokesman for the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

There were 9 destroyed homes, 8 damaged  and 9 are being evaluated for damage, Nunn said.

Seven people were transported to the hospital, including a 6-year-old girl who was trapped but then was eventually freed and then transported  to a local hospital, the Florence County Sheriff said.

Residents from the mobile home park were evacuated to nearby Wilson High School.

 There was also a damage near Battery Park that officials are evaluating. 

Deputies said they evacuated everyone who lives in the area because the site was not safe -- there are downed power lines, shards of glass and other debris.

The area affected is East Old Marion Highway and Williamston Road, just outside Quinby. The Florence Sheriff's Department has set up a road block at Williamston Road.

Parts of a Shell gas station were destroyed when they were blown over on TV Road in Florence.

There are reports of at least three mobile homes blown over with trees and power lines down as well just after 7 p.m..

Just after 7 p.m., a trained weather spotter reported the roof of mobile home was  blown off and trees down on Battery Park Drive.

A severe thunderstorm warning for was issued for northern Florence county,  western Dillon county, Marlboro county and northeastern Darlington county until 8:30 p.m..

At 7:23 p.m. National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60 mph.

The weather service warned that there could be isolated strong to severe thunderstorms are possible Tuesday night.

"(The) main threat will be from damaging wind gusts. A few of these thunderstorms may exhibit rotation that could lead to the formation of a tornado," the weather service said.

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