Irma tornado count in Lowcountry up to 4, one which blew Johns Island home off pilings

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A suspected tornado during Tropical Storm Irma that badly damaged a Johns Island home has been verified by the National Weather Service.

First reported to ABC News 4 the night of the storm, the EF1 tornado that touched down near Legare Farms on Johns Island Sept. 11 was finally confirmed Tuesday by the National Weather Service.

According to the NWS, the tornado put out winds up to 107 mph on its nearly half-mile trek, touching down along the Stono River near Abbapoola Creek, and continuing along the banks of the river for nearly two minutes.

NWS officials say the tornado destroyed a shed, snapped a large live oak tree at the trunk, and pulled a well pump and cement fence anchors out of the ground, then knocked a home off its pilings onto a truck parked underneath, crushing the pickup. The house also sustained significant roof damage.

The Johns Island tornado is the fourth associated with Tropical Storm Irma the National Weather Service confirms touched down in the Lowcountry.

An EF0 tornado with winds topping out at 84 mph made sporadic touchdowns over a mile and a half inside Joint Base Charleston during Irma. The NWS said Tuesday the weak, short-lived tornado damaged the roof of the control tower and another building on the base, caused minor damage to the facades of other buildings, and blew down some trees near the base golf course.

Earlier Tuesday, the NWS confirmed an EF0 tornado touched down on James Island during Irma, blowing off part of a house’s roof. NWS officials said last week Irma also caused an EF0 tornado in Mount Pleasant.

by Drew Tripp
September 19, 2017

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Kyrie Wagner