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Tornado struck south Charlotte, weather service confirms

What to do during a tornado

If your area is under a tornado warning, then you may only have a few minutes to get to safety. Here are the actions you should take during a tornado.
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If your area is under a tornado warning, then you may only have a few minutes to get to safety. Here are the actions you should take during a tornado.

An EFI tornado with winds of up to 90 mph struck south Charlotte on Wednesday night, the National Weather Service has confirmed.

The tornado hit the area at about 6:30 p.m., carving a path up to 150 yards wide for 2.18 miles, according to NWS officials in Greer, S.C.

The tornado’s first stretch of damage extended 1.68 miles, from the 1200 block of John Price Road to the northeast part of the Ayrsley subdivision, the weather service said. The second stretch went for 0.5 miles, from about 8500 Microsoft Way to West Arrowood Road.

EF1 is the second of six categories on the Enhanced Fujita Scale for tornado damage. EF0 is the weakest, with wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph. EF5 is the most intense, with winds greater than 200 mph.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado’s intensity after surveying damage on Thursday afternoon with officials from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management and N.C. Emergency Management.

Unconfirmed reports on social media said a tornado touched down at about 6:45 p.m. in the Arrowood Road area, NWS meteorologist Jeff Taylor said Wednesday night.

The weather service tweeted 15 minutes earlier that a possible tornado was developing near Interstate 485 southwest of Charlotte. An alert sent to mobile phones urged residents to seek shelter immediately.

Photos and videos posted online showed damage to the Microsoft complex on Arrowood Road.

Medic reported treating a person for potentially life-threatening injuries after a tractor-trailer rolled over in the 2300 block of Westinghouse Boulevard in south Charlotte during the storm. Medic took the person to Carolinas Medical Center.

That was the only injury from the storm, officials said.

Earlier Thursday afternoon, the weather service confirmed that an EF1 tornado struck Simpsonville in Greenville County, S.C., on Wednesday.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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