Upstate communities cleaning up after storms rip through area

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PIEDMONT, S.C. (WSPA) – Communities throughout the upstate are dealing with the aftermath of a tornado that swept through the area Saturday night. The system packed a punch, leaving behind uprooted trees and even destroying some buildings like sheds and barns.

Jack and Paulette Mellon are checking out what’s left of their neighborhood. The land their home is on, is just one of many places that ended up in a path of destruction.

“She said the garage was gone, looked out and it was gone,” said Piedmont Resident, Jack Mellon.

It was a sound Mellon says he has never heard before.

“I was in bed. House started shaking, wind blowing, sounded like a freight train coming through,” Mellon said.

“It sounds like one of the old-time fans when you get it started,” says Piedmont Resident, Mike Cooley.

And just down the street, the Cooleys are in the same boat. They tell us they felt the air change, heard a strange pounding sound and then windows shattering.

“It’s hard to explain. It’s the worst anxiety feeling that you could feel,” said Piedmont Resident, Maranda Cooley.

But they say it was over before they knew it.

“You could see everything moving and then all of sudden, it was just like a vacuum. I don’t want to see it again, I mean it just happened that quick,” said Mike Cooley.

As for the Mellons, they said it’s going to take a lot of time to fix what the storm left behind.

But while they’re tallying up the cost to repair what’s lost, they’re also counting their blessings.

“We’re genuinely thankful that nobody got hurt, not injured,” said Mellon.

The damage was not limited to Anderson County. The public works director in Clinton told 7 News, they also saw some significant damage last night from a storm system including a lot of down trees.

It was so significant that they said around 900 people were briefly without power.

The National Weather Service told 7 News they haven’t had any reports of injuries. They also say since this is being categorized as a minor tornado, most of the damage left behind was to trees.

Officials with the National Weather Service told us speeds reached around 85 MPH in the Piedmont area when the tornado struck.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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