Tornado tears through downtown Easley

By Nicole Daughhetee
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The National Weather Service confirmed last week that a tornado was, in fact, responsible for the structural damage and downed power lines and trees throughout the downtown Easley area.
Officials say the twister touched down between approximately 7:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 30.
According to the weather service, the tornado touched down near Old Market Square in downtown and moved northeast as far as the intersection of Jameson Road and Lenhardt Road.
Easley City Administrator Fox Simons said that in spite of the damage done to homes and businesses, the Easley community was quite lucky.
“There were church basketball games going on and kids at The Spotlight Dance Studio downtown,” Simons said. “Thankfully no one was injured in the storm.”
According to the Fujita Scale, used to rate the intensity of a tornado based on the structural damage left behind, Tuesday’s tornado measured at F1, or “moderate tornado” with winds ranging from 73-112 mph, Simons said.
Main Street, specifically the stretch between Pendleton Street and South 1st, was the hardest hit area in the storm.
Businesses in the area experienced flooding and major damage to brick facades.
The building that formerly housed Vikalin’s Coffee Shop and neighboring Uncle Sam’s Antiques, located across the railroad tracks, also suffered significant injury.
Sections of Main Street were closed to traffic while crews work on clean-up efforts.
A shelter was set up by the American Red Cross at the First Baptist Church of Easley at 300 E. First Street, but the downtown area was back to normal after a couple days’ clean-up.