COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Forecasters have confirmed that at least one tornado has touched down as a line of severe storms pushed through South Carolina.
The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down Friday afternoon along the line between Aiken and Lexington counties.
Forecasters say the tornado formed around 1 p.m. about five miles north of Wagener, then moved east-northeast into Lexington County.
Fire officials in Lexington County are surveying the damage. An initial assessment shows the worst damage is the Lawson Rd. area near Highway 302 near the Aiken Co. line. Crews aren't reporting major damage and many of their trucks are leaving the area, but some are still on scene.
In Calhoun County, officials say there are trees, poles and wires down near Great Cir. Drive. No injuries have been reported.
A tornado watch remained in effect until 4 p.m. for central parts of the state and until 8 p.m. for coastal areas.
A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until 6 p.m.
Winds should increase up to 15 to 25 with gusts approaching 40 to 45mph, especially on the bridges and elevated roads. Use extreme care if you are in a high profile or larger vehicle and hold on to that steering wheel.
A strong front is approaching from the west and storms will develop ahead of the system in a warm and unstable atmosphere. The gusty winds will bring plenty of moisture up from the south and that combined with the daytime heating will provide the fuel needed for storms to become severe at times.
The best time for strong to severe storms is noon until 7 p.m. The main threat Friday is damaging and destructive winds over 80 mph and isolated tornadoes with any storms this afternoon that develop ahead of the front. Stay weather alert and have a way to get watches and warnings if they are issued.