Hampton County officials taking precautions against severe weath - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hampton County officials taking precautions against severe weather threat

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Officials started preparing for severe weather a day ahead by announcing early dismissal from Hampton County schools on Wednesday. 

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in the county - this just weeks after a microburst caused some damage.  

"Monday afternoon, the clouds just got so black. It was really black. The weather radios were going off."

Those alarms went off when dangerous conditions approached the area. 

“The wind really blew. It was scary. It was scary for a while. This was classified as an EF0 tornado, which was 80 mph, went for about 200 yards; very small tornado, but that word tornado scares everybody to death," said Susanne Peeples, Hampton County EMA. 

There were no injuries reported with this storm, but now a second wave of bad weather is expected. Officials explain what they’re afraid of and what the county can handle. 

“The loggers see differently when they go in the woods, but there’s a lot of dry out there. We can take some water, that won't hurt us, but they’re talking from 11 tonight to 7 in the morning, we have severe thunderstorms throughout the night and high winds and straight line winds, and those winds are as powerful as a tornado at 80 mph so these are the kind of things that we’re afraid of," said Peeples. 

Hampton County Emergency Services says their main concern with this storm system besides tornadoes is trees. There are hundreds of them in the county leaning and resting on other trees from Hurricane Matthew, and the smallest bit of wind or rain can cause them to fall and block our roadways and potentially damage homes. 

The school district decided on early dismissal because of long bus routes on rural roads. They wanted to ensure that everyone was able to make it home if the weather took a turn for the worst. 

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