developed early on Friday May 20, 2005 across Alabama and Tennessee and
moved generally east across Georgia and South Carolina. The
storms moved into northeastern South Carolina during the late afternoon
after producing multiple instances of wind damage across central South
Carolina. The storms produced nickel sized hail near Myrtle Beach
at 5:45 pm as the line turned more northeast in its movement.
Loris Downburst Wind Event
Between 6:00 and 6:05 pm, a downburst of strong straight-line winds
impacted the town of Loris in northwestern Horry County causing damage
estimated at just under a million dollars to the Loris Community
Hospital. Additional damage occurred to some surrounding
buildings and vehicles with. Based on damage observed peak wind
speeds reached an estimated 90 mph in the vicinity of the
hospital. The strong winds from the downburst traveled
approximately one mile through town toward the north-northeast.
The roof was torn off the old Loris town jail and metal sheet roofing
was removed from other buildings in town. Away from the hospital,
winds were estimated to have peaked at around 60 mph. An
unofficial television station-operated weather station located at the
town police department only recorded a peak wind of 39 mph however.
Mollie F1 Tornado Event
As the storm moved north and crossed into North Carolina, it produced a
tornado which touched down in the Mollie community, approximately 6
miles east of Tabor City. Eyewitness reports indicate the tornado
was on the ground for several minutes between 6:10 and 6:15 pm.
This tornado tracked generally north-northeastward and cut a path 2 2/3
miles in length with a width of around 50 yards, crossing several
county roads, farm fields, and wooded areas. The tornado produced
three spots of F1 damage along its path, with winds estimated between
73 and 112 mph. Damage occurred to several homes, vehicles,
outbuildings, and sheds, and to a large number of trees. An
aerial survey was conducted over the area which was tremendously
helpful in establishing the linear extent of the damage and identifying
additional areas where F1 damage occurred deep in the woods.