A photographer captured dramatic images of the first confirmed tornado to strike the Carolinas in 2019 and the damage left in the South Carolina city of Abbeville on Friday night.
The National Weather Service confirmed Saturday that an EFO tornado packing winds of 85 mph touched down about 6:30 p.m. in Abbeville, about an hour south of Greenville.
The tornado cut a path 75 yards wide as it toppled trees and caused minor damage to several homes for nearly 1.7 miles, according to an NWS statement Saturday afternoon.
No injuries were reported, the weather service said.
EFO is the weakest of six rankings of tornado intensity on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is based on damage.
Andy Bagwell told The Charlotte Observer on Facebook that he took a photo of the funnel cloud 15 minutes before the tornado touched down in Abbeville. Bagwell said he was returning home from the business he owns, Commercial Printing & Graphics.
By the time he got home, about four miles from the business, the tornado had touched down, he said. He said he took photos of the damage a few minutes after the tornado had passed through.
On Saturday, Bagwell went out and took more photos of the destruction, including of large tree that sliced open the middle of a brick home.