686  
NOUS42 KCHS 251834  
PNSCHS  
GAZ087-088-099>101-114>119-137>141-SCZ040-042>045-047>052-260645-  
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC  
234 PM EDT THU MAY 25 2017  
 
...TORNADO CONFIRMED NEAR SOUTHERN WILMINGTON ISLAND IN CHATHAM  
COUNTY COUNTY GEORGIA...  
 
LOCATION...SOUTHERN WILMINGTON ISLAND IN CHATHAM COUNTY COUNTY  
GEORGIA  
DATE...05/23/2017  
ESTIMATED TIME...553 PM EDT  
MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING...EF2  
ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED...116 MPH  
MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH...300 YARDS  
PATH LENGTH...7.4 MILES  
BEGINNING LAT/LON...31.98 N / 81.00 W  
ENDING LAT/LON...32.03 N / 80.88 W  
* FATALITIES...0  
* INJURIES...0  
 
* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO  
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT(S) AND PUBLICATION IN  
NWS STORM DATA.  
   
..SUMMARY
 
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHARLESTON SC HAS CONFIRMED A  
TORNADO NEAR SOUTHERN WILMINGTON ISLAND IN CHATHAM COUNTY  
GEORGIA ON 05/23/2017.  
 
AT APPROXIMATELY 553 PM EDT, A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN ON THE SOUTHERN END OF  
WILMINGTON ISLAND, GEORGIA, NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF WILMINGTON ISLAND ROAD  
AND BILTMORE ROAD. AT THIS POINT, THE TORNADO WAS RATED EF1 IN STRENGTH,  
WITH MAXIMUM WINDS OF UP TO 100 TO 110 MPH. THE TORNADO MOVED EAST ALONG BILTMORE  
ROAD, THEN TURNED MORE EAST-NORTHEAST ALONG A PORTION OF WALTHOUR ROAD.  
ACROSS THIS ENTIRE AREA OF SOUTHERN WILMINGTON ISLAND, THE BULK OF THE DAMAGE  
WAS IN THE FORM OF LARGE SNAPPED AND UPROOTED TREES. THE CHATHAM COUNTY  
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY REPORTED THAT JUST OVER 30 HOMES SUSTAINED DAMAGE,  
RANGING FROM MINOR SHINGLE LOSS, TO MODERATE TO MAJOR DAMAGE DUE TO TREES OR  
LARGE LIMBS HITTING THE HOMES. AT LEAST ONE HOME SURVEYED ALONG WALTHOUR  
ROAD SUSTAINED DIRECT STRUCTURAL DAMAGE FROM THE TORNADO, WITH THE ROOF  
TO A SUNROOM BEING TORN OFF.  
 
THE TORNADO CONTINUED EAST-NORTHEAST ACROSS SEVERAL MILES OF MARSH, WHICH  
EXTENDS FROM EAST OF WALTHOUR ROAD TO U.S. HIGHWAY 80 NEAR FORT PULASKI,  
GEORGIA. RADAR EVIDENCE, SURVEYED DAMAGE, AND EYE WITNESS VIDEO INDICATED  
THAT THE TORNADO STRENGTHENED TO A LOW END EF2 AS IT APPROACHED FORT PULASKI.  
THE TORNADO MOVED OVER/NEAR THE VISITOR CENTER OF THE FORT, WHERE IT CAUSED THE  
CONCRETE WALLS AND ROOF STRUCTURE TO SHIFT AND BUCKLE. A SMALLER BUILDING NEXT  
TO THIS BUILDING HAD SIMILAR DAMAGE. THERE WERE MANY HARDWOOD TREES SNAPPED CLOSE  
TO THE BASE OF THEIR TRUNKS ALL AROUND THE COMPLEX OF THE FORT, ALONG WITH AT  
LEAST TWO MID-SIZED VEHICLES IN THE PARKING LOT BEING PUSHED AND ROLLED OVER.  
 
THE TORNADO THEN PROGRESSED ACROSS THE PARKING LOT, JUST NORTH OF THE FORT  
ITSELF, WHERE IT EXITED INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN AS A STRONG TORNADO/WATERSPOUT  
AT APPROXIMATELY 603 PM EDT. THERE WAS A COAST GUARD REPORT OF A CAPSIZED A 48 FOOT  
FISHING VESSEL ABOUT A MILE NORTH-NORTHEAST OF TYBEE ISLAND, WITH THREE MISSING  
CREW MEMBERS AS OF THE TIME OF THIS REPORT. WE SURMISED THAT THIS VESSEL WAS HIT  
BY THE TORNADO AFTER IT MOVED NORTH FROM FORT PULASKI.  
 
THIS INFORMATION CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/CHS.  
 
FOR REFERENCE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES  
INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:  
 
EF0...WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH  
EF1...WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH  
EF2...WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH  
EF3...WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH  
EF4...WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH  
EF5...WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH  
 

 
 
RFM  
 
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