BUFFALO — It was the weakest kind of tornado but that didn’t stop the tornado that touched down in the Buffalo area Sunday evening from doing some damage.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website (noaa.gov) there are five categories of tornadoes on the “Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale.” The weakest of these is a Category F0 which the website describes as a “gale tornado” with wind speeds of 40-72 miles per hour. The website states that a Category F0 tornado causes “light damage. Some damage to chimneys; break branches off trees; push over shallow-rooted trees; damage to sign boards.”
Union County Emergency Management Division Director Rob Fraim said Tuesday that the National Weather Service had determined that a Category F0 tornado had touched down in the Buffalo area Sunday evening. Fraim said the storm caused some damage along Mt. Lebanon and Haney roads including toppling some trees, damaging some mobile homes, tearing some shingles off the roof of a house and leaving a hole in it, and tearing the roof off a barn. He said that no one was injured, however.
Along with several other counties in the Upstate, Union County was under a tornado warning Sunday evening. The tornado warning was issued for the county at 4:45 p.m. and then extended to 5:45 p.m. Fraim said the tornado apparently touched down around 5:30 p.m. He said he did know how long the tornado was on the ground.
Fraim said that should another such weather event occur resulting in damage, the public can call either 911 or 864-429-1611 to report it. He said he’d heard that some people had been hesitant to call 911 to report storm damage for fear they might get in trouble. Fraim said this was not the case and that people who see storm damage for such a weather event can call 911 as well as the EMD’s non-emergency number to report such damage. He said that such calls enable his office to know when and where such damage has occurred and can help it as it ascertain the extent of the damage and its causes.
Fraim extended his thanks to all the agencies that went to the area to survey and determine the extent of the damage caused by the tornado.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.