Large-scale tornado destruction like we’re seeing in Oklahoma is rare in South Carolina but it can happen.
There’s a way you can track that information and local officials are putting the data to use.
Check out http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/
Tornado tracks are viewable on the state and county level and show the twister’s severity.
The state climate office also has a wealth of information – http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/ClimateData/cli_table_tornado_stats.php
The historical weather information is important for leaders to review.
“You can have pretty good guesses on which areas are more prone to having tornadoes,” Rod Brown said.
Brown is in charge of Spartanburg County Geographical Information Systems.
The maps he updates contain a lot of property information.
The advanced technology is key to determine losses after a storm as well.
“After something is totally wiped out, it’s kind of hard to figure out how much it was worth,” Brown said.
One of the tracker maps shows the 1989 Chesnee tornado.
“As we came down the road it was absolute total destruction,” Danny Painter said.
Painter saw the aftermath in person.
Homes were wiped out and the storm also killed two people.
Painter’s neighborhood looks different now but the memories remain.
“The house across the street was gone, the house beside us it was gone, the house I live in now but not then had the roof taken of it,” Painter said.
You can view the EF-4’s destructive path online now. Painter knows it is something that’s possible to happen around here again.