FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2008
SPRING STORMS TAKE HEAVY TOLL ON SC TIMBER
(Columbia,SC)–Saturday evening, March 16, 2008, at least 17 confirmed tornadoes touched down across South Carolina. The South Carolina Forestry Commission has performed reconnaissance flights and ground checks to determine how much damage these storms caused. SCFC personnel have clocked approximately 50 hours in the air and many hours on the ground conducting surveys. This initial estimate shows at least $150,000.00 in damage to SC timber stands, primarily in Allendale, Orangeburg, Newberry, Williamsburg, Kershaw counties. This is a conservative estimate based on the damage that has been confirmed so far, and the Forestry Commission believes there is much more widely spread damage that has gone unreported. Landowners should contact their local Forestry Commission office to report significant timber losses to help complete a full assessment of the situation.
Tree damage in urban areas was mostly limited to single or small groups of trees broken or uprooted. The South Carolina Forestry Commission’s professional foresters are available to provide technical assistance to landowners, whose forests received significant damage from these storms, including information regarding timber salvage, reforestation assistance, forest pest concerns, and hazard tree identification. To find their local SCFC office, property owners can visit www.trees.sc.gov.
Damage has been confirmed on approximately 750 forested acres. In Allendale and Williamsburg Counties, damage was most evident in pine plantations that were recently thinned. Because damage from severe weather is scattered and sometimes difficult to locate, landowners and managers are encouraged to check their forestland and advise the Forestry Commission when damage is found.
Storm damage can be particularly devastating to private forest landowners that can lose a majority of their timber assets in one event. Even light to moderate damage can increase the susceptibility of standing timber to certain insects, diseases, and wildfires.
For more information, contact Scott Hawkins, 803-896-8820