Sheila McIntosh describes how she and her husband braced for the storm that moved through Canaan on Tuesday, April 5.

Storms rolled through The T&D Region on the afternoon of April 5, spawning several tornadoes.

Six tornadoes – including three weak EF0s, two EF1s and one strong EF3 – touched down in Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. that afternoon.

A total of 46 homes were damaged or destroyed.

No deaths or injuries were reported as a result of the tornadoes.

The tornadoes’ impact on The T&D Region is number 10 on The T&D’s list of the top 10 stories of 2022.

In Orangeburg County, a total of 15 homes were damaged by the storms.

One home was destroyed and two homes suffered major damage. The three homes were uninhabitable.

The heaviest-hit area was about five miles north of Branchville on Seacrest Lane and Greywood Drive.

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In Bamberg County, a total of 31 homes were damaged. Of those, 23 were completely destroyed and uninhabitable.

The Hunters Chapel and Colston communities sustained the most significant damage in the storm.

No damage to homes or structures was reported in Calhoun County.

The tornadoes, listed in chronological order, struck:

  • Ehrhardt – Bamberg County: EF1 with peak winds of 110 mph. The storm started four miles north of Jennys at about St. John’s Church Road, traveling over Lizard Road and Hi Ki Pen Road, Jager Road, Lowcountry Highway, Singleton Road, and ending near the intersection of Ehrhardt and Pocketville Road, two miles west of Ehrhardt.

The storm touched down around 4:18 p.m. and was on the ground until 4:27 p.m. It traveled 3.73 miles and was 250 yards wide.

Damage included the destruction of a shed and the uprooting of 12 pecan trees.

  • Farrell Crossroads – Bamberg County: EF0 with peak winds of 85 mph.

The storm started seven miles north of Ehrhardt near Drawdy Branch, traveling between Farrells Road and Howells Mill Road, crossing over Bay View Road and Farrells Road about six miles southwest of Branchville before dissipating.

The storm touched down around 4:39 p.m. and was on the ground until 4:41 p.m. It traveled 2.35 miles and was 200 yards wide.

The tornado produced sporadic tree damage, with both softwoods and hardwoods uprooted or snapped.

  • Branchville – Orangeburg County: EF0 with peak winds of 80 mph.

The storm started one mile east of Branchville, crossing over Sub Road and Thompson Road before dissipating. The storm touched down around 4:53 p.m. and was on the ground until 4:55 p.m. It traveled 0.99 miles and was 50 yards wide.

The tornado started at the football, baseball and softball fields adjacent to Branchville High School, causing damage there.

The roof was torn off and the walls were damaged to the pump house, which contained irrigation equipment for all athletic fields.

The visitors’ dugout on the baseball field was damaged when the pump house’s roof was blown into it. There was additional damage to the backstops/fences on both fields and the batting cages.

There was no damage to the school building itself.

  • Bowman – Orangeburg County: EF0 with peak winds of 85 mph.

The storm started one mile south of Bowman near Wayside Drive and traveled over Dairy Avenue before dissipating near Bowman Branch Highway.

The storm touched down around 5:07 p.m. and was on the ground until 5:09 p.m. It traveled 0.76 miles and was 200 yards wide.

The storm damaged a storage barn and caused damage to about six acres of a solar farm.

  • Allendale, Bamberg, Orangeburg counties: EF3 with peak winds of 160 mph. It was between an EF0 and EF1 strength during much of its life.

The tornado was strongest when it was near Ulmer on Popeye Road and Ebenezer Road.

The storm started one mile northwest of Ulmer near Wells Branch Road, crossing over Bufords Bridge Highway right over the interchange of Bufords Bridge, Carolina Highway, Rivers Bridge Road and Main Highway. The storm traveled over Mizpah Lane before traveling over Popeye Road and Ebenezer Road and then Low Country Highway near Wild Flower Road.

It then proceeded northeast, reaching Natureview Court before dissipating.

The storm touched down around 6:03 p.m. and was on the ground until 6:53 p.m. It traveled 34.99 miles and was 500 yards wide.

The tornado downed, debarked and snapped trees and damaged structures.

  • Gaston – Lexington and Calhoun County EF1 with peak winds of 105 mph.

The storm started one mile north of Gaston, touching down near North Main Street (U.S. 321), traveling over Goodwin, Ball Park Road, Pine Plain Road, Dixon Road, Savany Hunt Creek Road, Interstate 26 and Old State Road (U.S. 176) before dissipating on Plantation Estates Road.

The storm touched down about 6:20 p.m. and was on the ground until 6:29 p.m. It traveled 5.89 miles and was 40 yards wide.

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