Elsa-Spawned Tornado Also Sent Big Wave Into Port Royal

PORT ROYAL, S.C. (AP) — The tornado that struck Port Royal as Tropical Storm Elsa moved across South Carolina didn't just damage buildings — it also pushed a large wave that caused close to $100,000 in damage to the town's waterfront, officials said.

An 8-foot to 10-foot (2.4-meter to 3-meter) wave sent two ships into wooden pilings on Port Royal's waterfront, cracking more than 30 of the devices used to protect the boats from greater damage, officials told The Island Packet of Hilton Head.

“The whole affair took maybe 15 seconds. A huge wave came and went swiping over the staging docks," said Whit Suber of Grey Ghost Properties who owns land in the area and watched what happened on surveillance video.

The pilings cost about $2,500 each, so the wave may have caused just under $100,000 in damage, Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis said.

The tornado that struck just before midnight on June 7 also damaged at least 44 buildings in the Beaufort County town of 13,000, causing around $1 million in damage, officials said.

No one was injured in the tornado that was on the ground for about two-thirds of a mile (1,060 meters). Top winds in the twister were estimated at 95 mph (153 kph), according to the National Weather Service.