Around noon, emergency services issued a tornado warning, with the first tornado being spotted in Teal's Mill around 1:30 p.m. According to Richard Carnes, Emergency Preparedness director, the National Weather Service issued an official report on the twister that formed in Teal's Mill: it was one-half mile wide and touched down in several spots over six miles. Carnes said it was rated an F1, which is the lowest ranking on the scale for tornado severity. However, several mobile homes were damaged, and several trees were uprooted.
Carnes said spotters were sent out as soon as the tornado warning was issued to keep emergency crews up-to-date of dangerous weather conditions.
In Cheraw, many eye witnesses saw a tornado form in the direction of Tech Road. Joe Hall, who works in the maintenance department at Chesterfield General Hospital, captured on camera the funnel shaped cloud.
Hall, who said he's never seen a tornado but has always wanted to, started snapping pictures from outside of the emergency room when he saw the clouds swirling. Before he knew it, he was watching a tornado heading in the direction of Wal-Mart.
Hall said the tornado was white because it hadn't picked up any debris and it was very loud - "worse than a freight train."
For more information on this story, please read the August 19, 2004 edition of the Cheraw Chronicle/Chesterfield Advertiser.