Strong storms Thursday night left a trail of damage and debris across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
The highest gust of wind measured in greater Jacksonville was 76 mph at NAS Jacksonville, although a wind meter at Huguenot Park reported 60 mph and the National Weather Service office at Jacksonville International Airport measured 58 mph.
While there were trees and power lines down across our viewing area and up to 20,000 people lost power at some point, the worst damage appeared to be in Clay and Bradford counties.
Clay County reported three people were injured in the storm -- one person in a truck hit by a falling tree, another person hit when the wind pushed a dumpster lid and a man fell off a roof while trying to make storm repairs.
Two trees came down at Orange Park Kindergarten on Moody Avenue. One fell in front of the building, damaging a bus. The second landed on a building, puncturing the ceiling of one classroom and leaving water damage and debris. Despite this, the school is still open for business operating out of other classrooms that were not affected.
A 13-year-old girl was rescued from her bedroom when a downed tree trapped her inside at her home in Orange Park North Mobile Homes. The mother said her daughter came inches from being hit. She and her son had to pry the door open to get her out.
A few doors down from that incident, a sleeping baby also had a close call when a large tree branch fell through a roof.
In a Lake Geneva neighborhood in southern Clay County where five homes were reported to have received damage.
In Starke, The Whiskey River Saloon on U.S. 301 was flooded when the wind stripped roofing material off the building, allowing the heavy rain to pour in. News4Jax Reporter Ashley Harding was told it’s likely the salon will have to remain closed for some time for repairs.
Shortly before the Weather Authority Alert expired at midnight, a strong wind gust flipped a tractor-trailer on its side on Dames Point Bridge. The driver was taken to the hospital but only suffered minor injuries.
The Duval County jail closed visitations for inmates until further notice because a section of glass attached to the front of the building broke, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The public reception area and sidewalk between the Pre-Trial Detention Facility and Police Memorial Building were also closed due to safety concerns.