Tornado From Elsa Causes $1M In Damage In Port Royal

PORT ROYAL, S.C. (AP) — A tornado spawned as Tropical Storm Elsa moved inland across South Carolina caused about $1 million damage to buildings in the Beaufort County town of Port Royal, officials said.

At least 44 buildings in the town of 13,000 suffered some damage and five must have major repairs before they can be occupied again, Port Royal building inspector Michael Wesson told The Island Packet of Hilton Head.

No one was injured in the tornado that was on the ground for about two-thirds of a mile (1,060 meters) just before midnight on July 7. Top winds in the twister were estimated at 95 mph (153 kph), according to the National Weather Service.

Total damage from the tornado is estimated at $750,000 to $1 million and is likely to rise as more damage assessments are finished, Wesson said.

The heaviest damage may be at the Port Royal Veterinary Hospital, where trees fell into the roof, damaging offices and equipment, said owner Dr. Marikay Campbell. She said damage to her business alone may be $1 million once the insurance adjusters finish their work.

Two dogs and a cat recovering from surgery were inside the clinic during the storm. A vet technician was able to rescue them and take them home.

“They were pretty scared,” Campbell said.