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NWS confirms EF-1 tornado hit York County, S.C. destroying farm, killing about 4,000 turkeys

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 6:25 PM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - The National Weather Service confirms an EF-1 tornado hit York County, South Carolina on Monday, destroying a local farm and killing about 4,000 turkeys in the process.

The meteorologist from the National Weather Service confirms a tornado hit the Biggers family farm located near Clover and Smyrna, along Highway 55 just east of Canaan Church Road.

“You see that picture and you can tell one hit,” the meteorologist says.

NWS says the storm had estimated peak winds at 110 mph with a path width of 70 yards and a path length of 0.4736 miles.

The damage survey revealed no human injuries or human fatalities but about 4,000 turkeys were killed on the farm.

Surveyers say tornado touchdown occurred in an open field, and the tornado moved through a cluster of buildings, one of which was completely destroyed and two others likely damaged beyond the point of repair.

Two other buildings lost metal roof panels and roof debris was carried down the path of the tornado.

The NWS says the only damage along the remainder of the path was snapped and/or uprooted trees, or downed limbs. Numerous instances of such damage occurred In a wooded area east of the farm, between Highway 55 and Enon Church Road. There was no evidence the tornado exited the wooded area.

The Biggers family says they owned their turkey farm in York County for “forever.” Then, a massive storm rolled through the area Monday afternoon.

“About 12:40 the tornado alarm went off and I jumped up and went outside and I could hear the rain or hail in the trees making all kind of rackets,” Charles Biggers told WBTV.

Biggers says within 30 seconds the storm had come and gone.

“I was expecting to see tin gone off the roof and maybe some tin off the walls, but not the houses totally destroyed,” he said.

S.C. turkey farm destroyed
S.C. turkey farm destroyed(WBTV)

Several turkey barns were hit and two were destroyed.

“The cows didn’t get harmed,” he said. “But we lost a couple of thousand turkeys out of 24,000.”

Trees were also uprooted and debris was thrown all over the farm.

“Just gotta take it one day at a time,” he said. “We did the same thing in 2010.”

He says when the last storm hit, the homes they lived in were damaged.

Thankfully this time, the house he took shelter in went unscathed.

“It’s just the way it is,” he said. “Gotta move on and live to the next day. No one got hurt so that’s the main thing.”

Biggers says they do not have insurance on the turkey barns that are destroyed, but they are wanting to slow down their business anyways, so they’ll be consolidating instead of rebuilding.

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