Officials confirm 7 tornados hit state

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At least seven separate tornados touched down Saturday in South Carolina, of which several were among the estimated 10 twisters spotted in Georgia, including one that churned across northern Columbia County and ended up in Bamberg, S.C., the National Weather Service said Monday.

Such an outbreak is rare, but not unprecedented, said Georgia state climatologist David Stooksbury.

"Some of these were very classic 'supercell' tornadoes," he said. "Earlier in the day, we were advising the emergency management folks at UGA to watch out for those lone wolf storms that tend to get out in front of the main system."

Several of those "loners" fanned out across east Georgia, eventually spawning twisters that caused devastation in Jefferson County and downed more than 1,000 trees across Columbia County.

"When these storms are alone and out front, as they become severe they tend to start bearing to the right," he said. "When you see that, it's indicative of a very strong storm."

Although property damage in Columbia County was minimal compared with other areas, the number of downed trees was significant enough to attract an assessment team from the Department of Natural Resources, said Pam Tucker, the county's Emergency Services director.

Another twister that spun across McCormick County, S.C., leveled many trees in Sumter National Forest, where teams were at work Monday assessing the damage, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Michelle Burnett.

Despite the severe weather, warning and forecasting systems today are better than they've ever been, which helps reduce injuries, Dr. Stooksbury said.

With tornado season being at its height from March to May, Georgians should remain vigilant to changing weather, and invest in a battery-powered NOAA weather radio, he said.

"People should always keep their guard up," he said. "As far as weather conditions, the way it looks now, Wednesday could be very similar to the weekend."

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

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jerryyoung
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jerryyoung 03/18/08 - 08:56 am
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Thank God for no loss of

Thank God for no loss of life. I know property damage is bad to have happen but a loss of life is devastating.

foxyloxy
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foxyloxy 03/18/08 - 09:17 am
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Watch out tommorow everbody!

Watch out tommorow everbody! All of the weather forecasters are predicting a MAJOR outbreak of tornadic storms. This just in from Accuweather:"This new low pressure system track follows the deadly storms that tore across the South last week, killing at least two people, injuring dozens more and causing millions of dollars in damage. High pressure off the Atlantic Coast on Monday allowed warmer air to flow into the Southeast as the clean-up continued after the weekend of strong storms. Temperatures Wednesday will be significantly warmer than on Sunday setting up another extreme severe weather outbreak. This is a potentially dangerous situation and should be monitored closely tommorow." This sounds even worse than this weekends weather. I am really scared now. May God help us all!

alkeeshad
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alkeeshad 03/18/08 - 10:48 am
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Passage Luke 21:11: 11 There

Passage Luke 21:11:
11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

RollingEyes
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RollingEyes 03/18/08 - 12:18 pm
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Foxy, look on the bright

Foxy, look on the bright side, maybe the storms will blow the pollen out of the area and give allergy sufferers a break. As an added plus, we might be able to see the colors of our vehicles again. That'd make it so much easier to find our cars out of the parking lots filled with yellow cars! :)

BarstoolDreamer
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BarstoolDreamer 03/18/08 - 03:01 pm
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Where is my FEMA debit card?

Where is my FEMA debit card?

foxyloxy
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foxyloxy 03/18/08 - 05:12 pm
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Looking at the weather

Looking at the weather forecast tomorrow B.D. there won't be much pollen left around. Maybe we all might need a FEMA debit card and Red Cross help as well. This looks REALLY bad for Wednesday people!

pogo.usa
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pogo.usa 03/20/08 - 06:15 pm
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So much for your lame

So much for your lame predictions.Where was the severe weather you all were talking about????

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