NWS Surveys Damage From Unusual EF3 Tornado In North Carolina

 Wednesday, February 17, 2021

 Star News Online

The survey team for the National Weather Service is currently North of U.S. 17, where they believe the tornado traveled after touching down in southern Brunswick County.

"The team has found a track almost to the Columbus County line, so it went almost from near the coast into Columbus county," said Steve Pfaff, warning coordination meteorologist, noting the team is still working to confirm this.

So far, the tornado is still indicative of a "high end EF3," especially in the Ocean Ridge Plantation area, which was hardest hit by the storm and was the subject of Tuesday’s damage-assessment, Pfaff said.

The EF scale is used to assign a tornado a rating based on estimated wind speeds and related damage.

Pfaff said a large portion of tornados in the Carolinas are about EF0, which is considered to cause light damage with 65-to-85 mph winds and EF1’s, which are considered to cause moderate damage and 86-to-110 mph winds, according to the National Weather Service.EF3’s are considered to cause severe damage amid 136 to 165 mph winds.