PORT ROYAL, S.C. (WSAV) – Port Royal was one of the areas in the Lowcountry hit hardest by Elsa overnight Wednesday.
Late Thursday night, the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed tornado damage in two Beaufort County areas — Port Royal and Parris Island.
According to Storm Team 3, there’s a chance both reports could be from one tornado but full surveys will help determine that. A tornado was also confirmed north of Beaufort County on Edisto Island.
The storm hit Paris Avenue destroying several businesses — and some vacations.
John and Katie Reinhold huddled inside their rental home as they heard a massive tree come down next to them, landing right on their car.
“I was looking at him saying, ‘Were we just in the middle of a tornado?'” Katie Reinhold said.
Just a block away, winds brought down a carport on top of two cars belonging to a Michigan family in town to see their son graduate from Parris Island.
Trees and limbs snapped on almost every street, leaving the community left to pick up the pieces.
Neighbors didn’t clean up alone though.
“It means people care about the community, they care about the agency. So it means a lot,” said Patricia Jenkins, executive director of Beaufort County Council on Aging.
Surveillance video shows the moment a tree fell on the roof of the Port Royal Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Marikay Campbell says the tree tore a hole in the ceiling of the surgery center and flooded the entire hospital.
The team grabbed all of the animals in between rain bands in the dark, making sure to get them to safety.
“It was scary enough last night,” said Campbell. “It’s even worse seeing it today.”
Damage was widespread through Beaufort County, which was under a tornado warning around midnight.
Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue responded to more than 66 incidents due to Elsa’s impacts.
Crews were called to six incidents of trees into a structure, 33 incidents of trees in the roadway, 22 fire alarms, one motor vehicle crash, and four medical emergencies between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and 7:30 Thursday morning.
Palmetto Electric reported nearly 20,000 outages on the island at the height of the storm.
In Bluffton, a family was home on Myrtle Island Road around 12:30 a.m. Thursday when a tree hit the corner of their home. Another tree landed in their yard.
The family said they were scared but thankful no one was hurt.
Port Royal Veterinary hospital is set up on Venmo to help with their tornado Elsa deductible fund. Anything that is not used for that purpose will be donated to a local animal charity. Thank you for your kindness and patience.@PortRoyalVet
GoFundMe Port Royal, SCELSA Tornado destroys Port Royal Vet Hospital