Authorities confirmed damage Monday evening and nearly 70,000 homes and businesses remained without power a day after 11 confirmed tornadoes hit the Carolinas and Virginia.
The National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado was in progress in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Monday afternoon. Another EF2 was confirmed in Cherokee County, South Carolina, which then tracked into Cleveland County, North Carolina. A third EF2 tornado stayed on the ground for more than 22 miles in North Carolina’s Burke, Catawba, Caldwell and Alexander counties, the NWS also said.
The other eight tornadoes were rated EF1 or EF0; there were three confirmed twisters in South Carolina, three in Virginia, four in North Carolina and one that tracked from South Carolina into North Carolina, according to the NWS.
Spartanburg Regional Hospital told the Associated Press it treated eight people for minor storm-related injuries. There were no deaths associated with this round of storms, the report added.
People took to social media to post photos and videos of the widespread destruction left behind by the storms. Photos from Spartanburg, South Carolina, showed serious structural damage and flipped vehicles after two confirmed tornadoes were in progress.
Police in Spartanburg County said the tornadoes downed numerous trees and power lines. There were also reports of cars overturned at an intersection.
In Edneyville, North Carolina, fire and rescue officials advised residents to stay home due to flooded roadways and downed trees and power lines. Flooding was also reported in Asheville and Boone, according to the AP.
Southeast of Asheville, part of a retaining wall collapsed at Chimney Rock State Park, the AP also said. The park will remain closed until further notice.
A mudslide in Henderson County forced officials to close Highway 65, according to WRAL.com, and at least two school districts announced the closure of schools on Tuesday due to the storms.
Damage from an EF2 tornado was also reported at Hickory Regional Airport in Hickory, North Carolina. Local officials declared a state of emergency in the town, as well as for all of Catawba County, to help with storm response, the AP reported.
Damage was also confirmed Monday in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The NWS found damage consistent with an EF1 tornado in that area.
“You could hear it howl through downtown,” Michael Parsons, who owns a jewelry store that was damaged in North Wilkesboro, told WXII-TV, as reported by the AP.
by Ada Carr and Sean Breslin
October 24, 2017