SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - The National Weather Service on Monday confirmed an EF1 tornado had struck in Simpsonville and city officials said Monday it could take up to a month to complete clean-up efforts after Sunday night's storms battered the city.

The National Weather Service said survey crews found damage that indicated a tornado occurred in the area. Crews surveyed the damage on Monday.

The NWS said the tornado had peak wind speeds of 100 mph, which is consistent with an EF1

PHOTOS: Simpsonville storm damage aftermath

Around 800 Simpsonville residents remained without power Monday afternoon after Sunday evening's storms caused falling trees and limbs to snap power lines.

Simpsonville Fire Chief Wesley Williams said to expect power outages for at least one to two days.

"The power will be out for a while," Williams said in a news release. "Fire crews are working to make sure everything is safe and roadways are clear of power lines, so the power in those areas has to be cut off. People should avoid downed power lines and call 911 if they come across any."

Officials said there was only one report of an injury during the storm, but that person declined medical treatment.

Public Works crews and firefighters were also clearing downed power lines and removing trees and limbs from roadways.

Public Works Director Jay Crawford said crews are prioritizing clearing roadways on Monday and Tuesday and will start removing limbs and other debris that residents set on the roadside Wednesday.

Crawford said the Westwood community saw the worst of the damage.

"There is damage in other areas, too. Trees have fallen on houses, and roofs have been torn off," Crawford said in a news release. "Cleanup could take up to a month. Addressing storm damage is our top priority, while picking up leaves and yard waste remain secondary concerns."

Crawford said residents can bag their leaves for ACE Environmental to pick up on trash day. 

City Administrator Dianna Gracely said the city is ready to meet the challenge of the cleanup process.

"The City of Simpsonville is mobilizing its resources to employ the most efficient, effective and safest response to the storm damage as possible," Gracely said in a news release. "We greatly appreciate the hard work that Simpsonville firefighters, police and Public Works crews are putting in and equally appreciate the help that Simpsonville is getting from neighboring cities."

Mayor Janice Curtis also offered her prayers to those impacted.

"Those residents who were affected by the storm are in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to them," Mayor Curtis said in the news release. "The safety of our roadways and necessity for motorists to travel their normal routes are of the utmost concern to city officials."


The National Weather Service confirms wind damage at a home in the area, which was reported around 10:12 p.m. A tree in the road on Neely Ferry Road, near Davenport Road was also reported shortly after. A downed tree was also reported on East Yellowood Road and Alder Road.

Greenville County's Emergency Management Division also confirmed that part of a home's roof near Damascus Drive and Leigh Creek Drive was blown off as well. The home, sitting on the corner of Gosford Road, had exposed beams over a section of the garage and a room on the second floor.

Citizen reports also came in to our newsroom. Dennis Edwards said his backyard on W. Coralvine Court in the southeast section of town was "like a warzone".

Jessica Barnard and her boyfriend, Chris Cason, also reported heavy damage on Boxelder Lane to FOX Carolina. Photos sent in by Chris show trees downed on the road and in front of houses. Jessica also specifically told us crews were cutting up some of the trees to get emergency crews to those houses.

Wide view of Boxelder Lane damage

This is a wider angle of the damage left behind on Boxelder Lane in Simpsonville. (Photo: Chris Cason/ April 14, 2019)

Simpsonville has experienced a tornado before.

A tornado struck in an area along West Georgia Road, not far from the worst damage seen in Sunday's storm, in November 2016.

 Jenn Hulehan, a councilwoman for the city, shared on Facebook that some of the same areas facing outages and damage now were also hit during the 2016 tornado.

"Please keep these Simpsonville neighbors in your thoughts & prayers. And please keep yourselves and families safe tonight," she wrote. "Stay home if you can, and if you have to go out, please be cautious and follow the directions of first responders who are out working to clear the roads and keep us safe."

FOX Carolina is continuing to follow the latest storm reports across the area. Stay tuned for updates from our crews on the ground.

Copyright 2019 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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