Tornado suspected as storm hammers Simpsonville

Duke Energy is reporting 150 outages in Spartanburg County, 8,710 in Greenville County and 182 in Anderson County. The National Weather Service allowed the tornado warnings for Spartanburg County to expire at 5:30 p.m.

The weather caused a handful of minor of injuries, thousands of power outages, fallen trees and property damage in southern Greenville County, mainly in the Simpsonville area, emergency management officials and the National Weather Service said. More than 40 car crashes were reported by S.C. Highway Patrol across Spartanburg, Greenville and Anderson counties at 5:10 Wednesday evening.

Lauren Visin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said officials won’t know for sure until Thursday morning whether it was a tornado, but radar activity and damage “strongly” suggest it was.

Billy Sigecan pointed to a fence that had been partially torn down and to several mighty oaks that lost limbs near his condominium.

His family was home during the storm and said when they received the tornado warning and the walls started to shake, they huddled in the bathroom.

“It sounded like a daggum train was coming through and when we saw the walls were shaking and it was blowing real bad, I told my wife to go downstairs to the bathroom.”

To report power outages, call Duke Energy Carolinas at 800-769-3766 or Duke Energy Progress at 800-419-6356. Residents can also report outages at www.duke-energy.com/outages.