PORT ROYAL, S.C. (WSAV/WCBD) – Tropical Storm Elsa left its mark on the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry Wednesday night – one of the hardest-hit areas was in Port Royal down in Beaufort County.
The morning after in Port Royal residents are trying to get back to normal after what members of the community believe was a tornado came right down Paris Avenue, destroying several businesses and some people’s vacations.
John and Katie Reinhold found themselves in the middle of a tornado during their vacation from Richmond, Virginia.
“Alright, don’t scare the kids half to death, but we might be dealing with a tornado situation—next thing you know we were in the bathroom huddling with pillows around us,” John recalled.
As they huddled inside the rental home, a massive tree came crashing down next to them, right onto their car.
Another set of vehicles were badly damaged just a block away when winds brought a carport down on top of two cars from a family in town to see their son graduate from Parris Island.
Powerlines were tossed aside or torn down by limbs that were broken in half just down the street.
The worst of it – possibly – was inside the Port Royal Veterinary Clinic where water now covers the floor. A tree limb was seen sticking out of the ceiling of their surgery center.
The team grabbed all the animals in between rainbands in the dark.
“Making sure that they were taken care of. The rest as disappointing as it is and frustrating because this is a new facility,” said Dr. Marikay Campbell with Port Royal Veterinary Clinic. “It’s a building, and it’s just stuff.”
Power crews say now that they have picked up most of the broken poles, they hope to be able to get the power on for everybody by Thursday night or Friday morning.
As for the town of Port Royal, this is just a reminder of how dangerous these storms are every summer.