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A tornado warning was Tuesday issued in South Carolina and briefly forced state lawmakers into the basement of the state House in Columbia as thunderstorms with hail, damaging winds and heavy rain were expected to move through the Southeast.
The National Weather Service issued a warning around 5:40 p.m. local time as severe weather moves into the area. Penny-sized hail is possible, WJBF-TV reported. Following the warning, members of the South Carolina House of Representatives were moved into a basement.
GULF COAST AND SOUTHEAST TO FACE THUNDERSTORMS, TORNADOS
State Rep. Bobby Cox, a Republican, tweeted a photo of lawmakers appearing to gather. The Legislature eventually went back into session.
A new tornado warning was issued for South Carolina Bonneau Beach, Saint Stephen and Harleyville as storms continue to push east.
Around 4 p.m. local time, the NWS issued a warning for the Allendale area of a tornado headed to Sycamore.
“THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION!!,” the alert said. “Move to the lowest interior level, away from windows, and inside a room without windows such as a bathroom or closet.”
Videos on social media appeared to show a tornado in Varnville, 18 miles southeast of Allendale.
Tens of thousands of people were left without power in Texas and Louisiana on Tuesday as storms continued to move through the south.
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Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.