WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, SC - The National Weather Service said Saturday it found no evidence of a tornado despite reports to the contrary.
Williamsburg County Fire Chief Randy Swinton had reported that a tornado touched down in the Kingstree area around 3 p.m. on Friday, but after reviewing photos of the damage, experts said that damage did not show evidence of an actual tornado.
In a Facebook post, the National Weather Service's Wilmington office described an ominous storm cloud some believed was a tornado as a shelf cloud with scud:
"A shelf cloud shows the leading edge of strong winds driven by rain cooled air beneath a thunderstorm. In the strongest cases, this shelf cloud will be very turbulent with lots of rising and sinking motion producing "scud," or twisting, rolling, detached dark cloud features that look like tornadoes. Scud is not dangerous though."
Experts say while scud is not dangerous, winds beneath a shelf cloud can be very strong and cause damage, but those winds are not rotating as they would be in a tornado.
Swinton said Highway 261 to Manning had been shut down due to damage in the area. According to Swinton, a number of people were trapped in cars and homes.
Residents said it was very unexpected and are happy to be alive after seeing the damage that was done.
Army veteran Jasmine Shaw had a tree fall into her roof. She is thankful she was not at home when it happened.
"I wasn't even aware that it happened, I just pulled up in the yard and I was like where are all the trees," Shaw said."I noticed the trees in the yard were broken."
She says there was water all over her belongings.
On Friday night, she moved out some of her things so they would not get damaged.
Just a couple of miles down the road Charles Burgess says he was in his pickup truck in his driveway when the weather turned bad.
"It was something, I'll tell you that," Burgess said."It got so dark so quick it was like you turn the light off and it was night time."
There are trees in front of Burgess' home as well as the tornado path in his backyard, but there was no damage to his home.
"But through it all I'm still blessed, I've got no complaints," Burgess said.
As for Shaw, she's trying to move forward with her community's support.
"We can just stay prayed up and hope," Shaw said. "In time it will come along."
Shaw will have to stay someplace else until a contractor comes to her home to assess the damage.
She's not sure what's next for her, but she's remaining hopeful that all things will work out.