Maria Guerrero

National Weather Service: No Tornado, But 85 MPH Straight-Line Winds Hit Greenville on Wednesday

Destruction rolled into downtown Greenville in a matter of minutes Wednesday evening.

"We saw the trash cans all blowing everywhere," said resident Susan Holland.

The whipping winds sent tree limbs and wooden structures flying. Metal roofs were peeled right off. Poles splintered, sending power lines onto the streets below.

"I ran inside and tell mom, 'This ain't no just regular wind. It's got to be a tornado,'" said resident Julian Hernandez.

While there was no tornado, there were winds.

The National Weather Service surveyed the damage on Thursday and determined straight-line winds peaking at 85 mph hit Greenville.

The storm left approximately 7,500 customers without power.

"We're just over here trying to do a little bit of business," said Holland. "I don't think anyone is open today because the whole downtown is out of electricity."

Armstrong Appliance on the historic town square worked outside in order to schedule service calls and complete some deliveries when possible.

Julian Hernandez and his family spent the day picking up the pieces after a tree toppled over telephone lines, breaking some windows as he rushed to save his mom's car.

"I really should have told [mom], 'Do you want your son or your car,'" he said with a laugh.

The heat and humidity set in on Thursday as crews worked overtime to clean up the mess.

Scott Ellis drove up in his pickup truck and handed first responders ice-cold bottled water --  a simple gesture from VFW #4011.

"Everybody appreciates it," said Ellis. "Everybody likes to know that people care."

Because when disaster strikes, communities unite.

"In a time like this, hey, people come together," said Hernandez.

Residents said they are grateful no one was hurt in the strong storms.

By Thursday afternoon, approximately 2,500 customers were still without power, according to electric utility provider GEUS.

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