The storm hit just after 6 p.m. Wednesday and left numerous broken and uprooted trees. A number of barns, outbuildings and a few homes were damaged in the storm, according to Sheriff Lee Foster.
One airplane at the airport was also toppled during the storm. The Cessna was totaled.
The worst-hit area was a quarter-of-a-mile square around the Braswell farm, said Foster, adding the damage went from Bush River Church to near Louis Rich.
In the City of Newberry, the only damage was a tree that downed a service line on Rosalyn Drive and a smoking line near Louis Rich.
Sheriff’s Deputy Lee Turner had picked up fried steak plates from a fundraiser at Bush River Community Center, and was on his way back to Newberry, when he noticed a greenish funnel cloud that was “whipping around.” As he neared the Braswell dairy farm on Bush River Road, the storm downed a number of trees and he pulled into the Bush River Fire Department parking lot.
Once he was parked, Turner says he put his small dog on the floorboard and covered it with a pillow.
As Turner sat in the hail and rain, he says the wind moved his truck about six feet.
“It was the most amazing thing I ever saw,” said Turner, who has been a police officer for 40 years. “I know how Dorothy felt.”
Bush River farmer Josh Long was also traveling in the area about the same time and parked near the Braswell farm. Realizing he was under some old oak trees, Long drove down a bit farther.
As Long moved his truck, the trees fell, the new father described Wednesday as he looked at the downed trees.
No one was hurt in the storm, but local garden shop owner Mike Dipner says it is a good reminder of how fast something can happen.
Foster said the county received a storm warning about 10 minutes before the storm hit. There was no tornado warning.
The weather service did not report any tornado rotation.
“Whether it was a tornado, a microburst or wind sheer, either one is just about as bad or worse,” said Foster.