Storm clouds (copy) (copy)

"Whale's mouth" cloud pattern under thunderstorm in Mount Pleasant. On Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, a suspected tornado touched down near Loris High School is Horry County. The wind flung cars around the parking lot. File/Staff

A tornado touched down Monday afternoon near Loris High School, authorities said. 

Reports of high wind and cars flying around came in around 12:44 p.m., said Mark Willis, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service's Wilmington, N.C., office. 

Radar picked up a signature that looked like a tornado had touched down at that location, Willis said. The Weather Service sent out a team shortly after to investigate. 

The team determined late Monday afternoon that a tornado did cross the campus. The tornado had estimated wind speeds of 90 miles per hour, according to a National Weather Service report.

Student and staff at the school are safe, said Lisa Bourcier, an Horry County School District spokeswoman. 

"As many of you have heard, Loris High School just experienced a large wind gust that caused damage to several vehicles in our parking lot," Bourcier said.

"The Loris Fire Department is on campus to assess the situation and at this time, there are no reports of damage to our building. We never lost power during this weather event, and the school will continue to operate on a normal schedule today."

Loris is about 30 miles north of Myrtle Beach.

The storm came just days after others blew through the state.

A tornado with estimated winds of around 130 mph touched down in Kershaw County on Saturday, the National Weather Service's Columbia office said.

The tornado severely damaged North Central High School, the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office said. No injuries were reported.

Fleming Smith contributed to this report.

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.