Strong storms roll through Aiken County


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) —– The cleanup begins from Thursday’s severe weather as the rain comes to an end. The South Carolina Department of Transportation says 83 roads are still closed statewide. Aiken County was one of the hardest-hit areas in the CSRA.

“I thought I was going to die,” said Sarah Katz. “I honestly thought I was going to die. I’ve never felt so helpless when you see debris flying so fast and power at your windshield. When the windshield broke in my car, I thought that was it. I’m fortunate to be alive.”

Sarah Katz lives at Stable View Farms. She says she watched the storm hit the farm before she could leave to a nearby training facility.

“I was leaving the farm to go feed when I started to see a bunch of rain happening and some wind,” explained Katz. “I didn’t think anything about it until the temporary barns started lifting off the ground one stall at a time.”

Katz says three temporary barns landed in the middle of Springfield Church Road. The damage from the barns, torn-up trees, and broken powerlines caused the road to shut down.

Take a look at this video: it’s the same storm, just a street over on Smith Lane. The National Weather Service is studying these images with the cloud formation; to determine whether a tornado hit.

“This one came so fast, and I’ve been telling people it’s like watching a deer run across the road,” said Katz. “You don’t see it is coming, and it’s gone before you don’t even know it.”

Stable View Farms is an event facility for horse shows. The show horse trainer says the damage is so severe from the storm; Stable View will have to put the competition on stand-by.

“There are big horse shows that are happening soon,” said Katz. “Without several barns and the facility down, it’s going to affect a lot of people who are down here for a living in the winter.”

A spokesperson for the Eureka Fire Department, says there are no injuries reported at this time. Katz also adds, there were no horses injured during the storm.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

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