Reported tornado causes extensive damage near Charleston, South Carolina


A reported tornado caused extensive damage early Friday morning near Charleston, South Carolina.

The storm was reported about 12:40 a.m. EDT with the National Weather Service forecast office in Charleston reporting that debris from the tornado was being picked up on radar. Tornado warnings were issued as a result of the storm.

"The tornado was especially dangerous because it spun up quickly when it did," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said. "That can make the situation even more dangerous as people go to bed for the night and are not aware of the tornado warning that may be issued."

"Another brief tornado overnight over the next few hours cannot be totally ruled out near the South Carolina coast from around Charleston northward into Georgetown County, South Carolina," Pydynowski said.

Extensive damage was reported on Johns Island, South Carolina, Charleston County Sheriff's Office said.

At least 12 homes were damaged on one street on Johns Island, fire officials reported. An unknown amount of people were reported trapped in their homes.

There was no immediate word on injuries as a result of the storm.

At least 9,000 SCE&G and Berkeley Electric Cooperative customers lost power as a result of the storm, the utilities reported.

The National Weather Service said it would send a survey team to Johns Island and West Ashley later Friday to assess the damage.

While tornadoes do occur in Charleston County, the county averaged about one tornado per year between 1994 and 2014, according to the South Carolina State Climatology Office. Eighty-one percent of all South Carolina tornadoes were of EF0 and EF1 (65-110 mph) strength between 1950-2014.

Originally published