HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday that a tornado touched down in Garden City during Hurricane Isaias’ impact.
According to Steve Pfaff with the NWS, it was an EF-0 tornado with winds at 80 mph. A crew was in the 900 block of South Waccamaw Drive to investigate the damage.
“It’s very important for us to analyze all characteristics of the storm,” said Pfaff.
The tornado came in off the ocean and blew between two beachfront homes, then crossed over South Waccamaw and Underwood drives, causing more damage inland.
“If it had been a little bit stronger it would’ve been a lot more destructive to the homes in the area,” said Pfaff.
Pfaff said one person was injured in one of the beachfront homes when a door was blown open and debris hit him in the head. According to Pfaff, that man is in the hospital due to the head injury.
Some residents were shocked by the strength of Isaias and the destruction it caused up and down the Grand Strand.
“I think I was like most of the people around here, we really didn’t think much about Isaias,” said Garden City resident Charles Roediger.
The tornado damaged patios, tore up roofs and even flattened a third story watchtower on one home. Those who chose not to evacuate for Hurricane Isaias said they felt the tornado barrel through several yards.
“I was standing in the house and I felt the house start moving and I’ve never felt that before,” said Roediger.
Roediger has lived in the Grand Strand for decades, dating back to Hurricane Hugo in the late 80s, and did not expect Isaias to cause as much damage as it did.
Dozens of residents spent the afternoon cleaning up debris and say they won’t be underestimating any other storms this year.
“It makes you think twice because that is pretty dang close of a tornado right there,” said Roediger.
The WMBF First Alert Weather App is a great tool to have during the storms for updates from our meteorologists and even tracking the radar of the storm.
Plus, with hurricane season far from over it’s good to make sure you have those evacuation plans in place and even a tornado shelter if you’re planning to ride out these storms.