The National Weather Service-Charleston has confirmed a high-end EF1 tornado touched down in Garden City on Thursday.
Preliminary reports suggest the tornado touched down near the intersection of Seaboard Coastline Drive and Telfair Junction Roads. At this location, we have reports of snapped trees and blown over tractor trailers with minor wind damage to some of the skirts of mobile office trailers.
The tornado continued northward with the next damage area along Alfred Street, just east of Market Street. At this location, there were some snapped trees and damage to the wall of one home, which was partially blown down, causing the garage door to blow out. About one-third of a metal roof of an industrial building just north of Market Street was damaged as well.
Next, the tornado moved toward the more industrial and commercial area just south of U.S. 80, where it did significant damage to the Advance Auto Parts store. Three walls collapsed and the roof was heavily damaged and shifted halfway off the remaining rear wall. At this point, the tornado had is strongest winds, estimated to be around 110 mph. The rating was capped at a high-end EF1 due to the lack of damage or much less significant damage to structures immediately around the store. There were also five people injured inside the Advance Auto Parts store, and at least 5 cars were heavily damaged from the front wall of the store falling on them.
The tornado’s maximum path width was at one point 120 yards and remained on the ground for 2.86 miles.
The tornado continued to do very sporadic and more minor damage as it moved north of Highway 21, finally terminating at the Port of Savannah-Garden City. At the port, it pushed over some shipping containers and did minor damage to some container tanks in the area.
The tornado then moved into the Savannah River and dissipated. This information can also be found at weather.gov/chs.
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