'You could just see the funnel:' Horry residents assess damage following possible tornado

Power restored to majority of Horry County residents impacted by possible tornado

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A damaging storm swept through the Conway area late Wednesday morning, causing downed trees and power outages, according to officials.

Several viewers reported seeing a tornado, and the National Weather Service is sending a storm survey crew to Horry County Thursday morning, said WMBF News First Alert Chief Meteorologist Jamie Arnold.

Reporter Amy Lipman streamed on Facebook live as she surveyed some of the damage to property located off S.C. 19 near New Dawn Lane:

Video from William Ashley Johnson on Facebook shows some of the damage caused in the Conway area.

Ashley Johnson's yard had extensive damage, including a demolished shed where a boat is kept, a torn apart playset, a broken screened-in porch, a dented garage door and a pool with furniture now inside of it.

She said she was in her office when she noticed the lights flicker.

Johnson said her computer turned off and rain started coming down hard. At that point, she went to the garage to close the door when she said she saw what looked like a tornado.

"When I looked out into the field behind us, you could just see the funnel," Johnson said. "It was just coming. Everything inside my office was shaking. The TVs were trying to fall off the wall. I got down because the only thing I could think to do is lay down."

Johnson described the scary experience as the possible tornado got closer.

"Everyone says you'll hear a train, but when it was that, I guess it was so close you couldn't hear anything," she said. "It was just deafening. Your head, it felt like it was just going to pop up. It was just so close and the pressure, it was horrible."

Johnson said when that pressure lifted, she looked out the window to see her neighbor's shed had been demolished.

That neighbor, Jason Brennan, said he noticed his grill go flying by. That's when he and his wife went to the bathroom for shelter. However, he said it was already over by then.

Brennan said the damaged shed was an office. He added his house was put up on the market about two months ago and he'll now have to fix the roof.

However, what was damaged is what can be replaced.

"Going through this, I feel lucky," he said. "Thankfully me and my wife made it through OK. Checked with the neighbors and everybody was OK."

The same storm also caused significant damage in North Carolina, about nine miles north of Little River. Dramatic Facebook video shot by Deborah Corman near Shallotte shows the strength of the storm:

Crews with Horry County Fire Rescue responded to downed trees and power lines, and some damage to roofs in the area near Allsbrook Road and Adrian Highway.

Horry Electric Cooperative initially reported over 1,100 customers without power as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Shortly before 5 p.m., the co-op's website listed only 12 customers that were still in the dark.

The company said on their Facebook page: "It's a real mess out there," and that crews had a long afternoon ahead of them "cleaning up the mess left behind by the storm."

Pamela Rehm shared video of crews out removing debris on Highway 19 near the Highway 22 overpass.

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