Great Britain

Surprise tornado hits South Carolina beach

A surprise tornado briefly touched down on a beach in South Carolina scattering beachgoers and leaving debris in its wake.

Forecasters from the National Weather Service (NWS) reportedly confirmed an EF-0 tornado with 75-mph winds hit Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic coast on Friday.

The Myrtle Beach Fire Department reported that “the tornado touched down around 74th Ave N".

They added: “Here are some pictures taken by our north end Ocean Rescue crew.  Please be careful around this area as there may be debris and other damage in the area."

Footage from a number of eyewitnesses shows beach umbrellas and other debris tossed through the air as the system swept the beach.

“WHOA. Close up view of today's tornado in Myrtle Beach.  Taken at 74th Ave. North.  From David Martin. #SCwx,” one user posted.

“This just sent beach chairs flying on 75th North in Myrtle Beach,” another user said alongside another clip of the twister.

The NWS had not put out a tornado warning on the area at the time, but they had warned that “unsettled weather” could be expected in the area as the remnants of Tropical Storm Beta moved across the Southeast.

“While radar is a great life-saving tool, it has limitations. Brief tornadoes often occur between radar scans.  Stay alert tonight. Brief tornadoes are possible. We'll continue to monitor closely," they said.

Landon Beard, a lifeguard in the area, told WBTW-TV that the tornado was picking up boxes “about a hundred feet out of the air”.

“Everybody including me just ran straight off the beach,” he told the broadcaster.

The NWS said that “localised flooding is possible along with a chance of strong storms on Tuesday” while “showers and storms will bring one to two inches of rain to most of the area through Wednesday".

No injuries have been reported and damage was said to be minor.

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