Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tornadoes

Tornadoes have touched down in North and South Carolina during every month of the year, but they're most likely to happen from March through May and in September.

About 81 percent of the tornadoes in the two states are short-lived, weaker EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes.

On the Enhanced Fujita scale, tornadoes are measured from EF-0 (the weakest) to EF-5 (the strongest).

There is no record or evidence of an EF-5 tornado ever touching down in either of the Carolinas, but on rare occasions we've had stronger, damaging tornadoes.

On March 28, 1984, two F4 (measured on the previous scale, before Enhanced Fujita) tornadoes with estimated winds over 200 mph tore across Marlboro, Scotland and Robeson counties.

The twisters killed 11 people and injured 500. One of the tornadoes was more than two miles wide.

On July 6, 2001, an F2 tornado with estimated winds of 150 mph moved right along the beach in Myrtle Beach. It went right over the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. That tornado injured 30 people and left $10 million in damage on the Grand Strand.

In 2013, South Carolina had 8 tornadoes and North Carolina had 12. On average, North and South Carolina see around 30 tornadoes per year.

The most important thing to do before severe weather strikes your neighborhood is to create a safety plan. Practice what you will do now, before a storm hits.

When a tornado watch is issued, think about your plan and make sure all of your supplies are handy. Stay tuned to WPDE News Channel 15 and for the latest weather information or possible warnings.

When a tornado warning is issued, abandon cars/mobile homes and seek sturdy shelter immediately. Stay away from windows and go to an interior room on the lowest floor. Get under sturdy furniture or in a bathtub and cover yourself from flying debris.