Darlington crews respond to possible tornado damage

Possible tornado destroys home in Oates community. (Image Source: News13's Curtis Graham)

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Darlington County first responders have responded to several locations in the Oates community for reported tornado damages.

Officials say the area experienced a strong storm that moved through on Thursday night around 9:30 pm. Shortly after that, Darlington County Emergency Management, Darlington County Fire District, and Darlington County Sheriff’s office were called to the Oates community for reports of homes damaged by a tornado.

Responders found damages that were consistent with that of a tornado and have requested a team from the National Weather Service office in Wilmington come to the area to confirm. DCEMD will return to the areas affected after daylight to continue with damage assessment.

News13 crews captured video of mobile homes destroyed by the storms in the Oates community. The homeowner says she and her family are lucky to be alive.

“I open the bathroom window on the other end, and everything was just twirling around, and my sister voted down to the side of the trailer when my grandson was sleeping and this is the bedroom,” recalls homeowner Cathy McKenzie. “This is the bed that he was sleeping in and we grabbed him and we ended up on the floor and we all three were just laying there praying, ‘Lord please save us, please.’ By the grace of God we are all alive and OK, but as you can see everything is demolished.”

Anyone with damages from the storm can report them to the DCEMD office at (843) 398-4450 extension 1105.