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      Recent winter storm damages state forests

      winter storm damages forests

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Last week's ice and snow storm left behind widespread damage to the eastern half of the state's forests.

      The South Carolina State Forestry Commission conducted reconnaissance flights on Saturday to get an idea of how much damage was done due to the ice storm.

      In the Midlands, tree damage was seen from Aiken to Orangeburg and east to I-95. Clarendon, Lee, and Sumter counties also suffered significant damage.

      Younger pine trees, which have been thinned, were the hardest hit on these initial observations.

      According to the State Forestry Commission, even if some trees recover from being bent, the timber market prefers straight trees.

      This could lower the value when it is time to harvest.

      South Carolina's 13-million acres of privately-owned forestland supports the state's economy by approximately 17 billion dollars annually.

      More detailed surveys will begin this week.