Winter storm took "dead aim" at South Carolina's forests

The South Carolina Forestry Commission says it's too early to put a dollar figure on the damage done to our state's forestland, but the agency is taking initial steps to make that assessment.

The Forestry Commission says this week's storm took "dead aim at South Carolina's forests, perhaps to the extent which occurred during a similar storm in 2004."

Starting Saturday, forestry officials will survey the damage from the air in the areas most impacted by ice.

Next week, they'll do a more detailed aerial survey and then ground checks.

"As conditions improve, staff at our state forests are noting different degrees of damage depending on their region of the state, age class of trees in a given stand, and species. Pines are notably vulnerable to the conditions seen this week," said spokesman Scott Hawkins in a news release Friday.

"In Chesterfield and Darlington counties, 46,838-acre Sand Hills State Forest pines suffered a great deal of bow-bending from heavy snow/ice accumulation. These trees are expected to recover without loss to their ultimate market value," Hawkins said.