Damage reported as severe weather blasts through region

Damage has been reported across the Upstate after strong storms and tornadoes blasted through the area.

There were numerous reports of damage in Simpsonville and other areas starting by about 5 p.m.

Simpsonville's Fire Chief Wesley Williams is asking people to stay off the road, to allow emergency crews to tender to the situation.

Judy Fancher, who lives in the community, said when she got to the neighborhood, an officer told her that there are "mobile homes in trees." When she talked to WYFF News 4, she did not know the status of her home because residents were not being allowed into the community due to downed power lines.

The Greenville County Emergency Operations Center was activated at about 6 p.m., Deputy Director Jay Marett said.

Most of the immediate focus of the GCEO is the emergency in the West Georgia Road area of Fork Shoals. The GCEO operates out of the basement of Greenville City Hall.

There were many reports of trees and power lines down and damage to homes in several parts of the Upstate.

As of about 6:30 p.m., there were 8,000 customers without power.

Just before 5 p.m., Greenville County School officials said that all schools located south of Interstate 85 in the tornado warning zone were to shelter in place. At about 5:25 p.m., officials said all schools were cleared for dismissal and buses resumed their routes.

There is no storm damage at any Greenville County School that would interfere with normal operations Thursday, according to Greenville County Schools spokeswoman Elizabeth Brotherton.

She said Woodmont High School did receive some damage from the storm. Several windows on the back side of the school near the gym were broken, according to Brotherton. She said they have been temporarily repaired, but out of an abundance of caution the Woodmont gym will be closed until further inspection can be conducted in daylight. There was also significant damage to two greenhouses on school property and the tennis courts and baseball field.

Earlier in the day, three confirmed tornadoes moved through metro Atlanta.

Among the more than 100 reports of severe weather received by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center from Tuesday and early Wednesday, there were roughly 22 reports of tornadoes from northern Louisiana to central and eastern Mississippi, northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

Five people were killed and more than a dozen were injured as a suspected tornado swept across parts of Alabama and Tennessee early Wednesday.

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