Microburst rips through Conway

A microburst blew through on Monday leaving its damage behind. | Source: Conor McCue
A microburst blew through on Monday leaving its damage behind. | Source: Conor McCue

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Folks around Conway are reflecting, after strong storms ripped through the community last night.  The National Weather Service spent the day surveying the damage to be better prepared for the future.

The team says the storm hit such a broad encompassing area; it can now be classified as a microburst. 

"It's like a big bowling ball of wind and rain that's held up by the thunderstorm," explained Steven Pfaff, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, NC.

That big bowling ball quickly evolves and then comes crashing down on whatever is underneath.

"It impacts the ground and fans out in a divergent type pattern," said Pfaff.

National Weather Service meteorologists found damage in a more than two square mile area.  What they found showed the winds were most likely greater than 75 miles per hour.

Pfaff study's storm data every day and says Monday night's storm was similar to those seen in the plains or tornado alley. 

"It's very impressive, it's pushing the envelope of mircobursts and it's almost a macroburst,"  said Pfaff. 

While the damage could have been worse, Pfaff says it was still significant.

Six people sustained minor injuries but were quickly released from the hospital. On one lot off Singing Pines Drive, the wind tore off the roof of a home and ripped a tree out of the ground.  

"It could have been a very, very dangerous event that unfolded here," said Pfaff. "We're just fortunate there are no significant injuries and no fatalities."

The National Weather Service will take the collected data to Wilmington to find out what caused the strong winds and how much damage actually occurred.

Teams said the survey will not only help them understand this event, but it will better prepare them for the next one.

"Even though we live in an area that doesn't typically see intense severe weather, we still need to be prepared," warned Pfaff.

The best way to prepare for future storms is to have a plan. Know what the safest place is in your home and make sure to stay there when the weather takes a turn for the worst, the National Weather Service teams advised.

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