Tornado not to blame for damage in Fruit Cove, NWS says
ST. JOHNS, Fla. – A heavy storm swept through the area Monday, leaving a trail of debris behind. In Fruit Cove, some neighbors suspected a tornado was to blame for numerous downed trees.
But the National Weather Service said it was not a tornado but a microburst, which is a small area of thunderstorm winds that come rushing down to the surface, according to NWS meteorologist Al Sandrik.
Sandrik said the microburst brought wind gusts up to 65 miles per hour, heavy rain and even hail with it. And it all happened in a half-mile radius.
"It came through pretty fast and furious blowing trees around," said Fruit Cove resident Chris Commins. "(Now we're) trying to pick up major limbs, opening up roadways to make sure everyone can pass."
Some of the branches and trees knocked out power lines, putting many of the people in the area in the dark.
The heavy gusts even knocked a tree right through a back porch (pictured above).
"The patio furniture looked like Barbie furniture, uplifted and just tossed into the river," said Fruit Cove resident Beth Ranucci. "We knew it was something more than your typical storm."
Copyright 2011 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.