A tornado touched down early Wednesday evening in Southeast Georgia as Tropical Storm Elsa moved through, according to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.
Shortly before 6 p.m., the storm was moving north at 50 mph near St. Marys and causing damage on the ground, the NWS said.
According to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, roughly 10 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, including a pregnant woman, at an RV park on the base. Video shared with News4Jax showed several overturned vehicles, and the base confirmed that there was damage to multiple RVs.
A public information officer for the base told News4Jax that the injured people were taken to area health care facilities.
KINGS BAY BASE HIT HARD | A tornado touched down this evening in Southeast Georgia as Tropical Storm Elsa moved through, according to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. https://t.co/af0XaGX3xJ | @LyftGyft pic.twitter.com/sRgTsC6p8H— News4JAX (@wjxt4) July 7, 2021
Sergio Rodriguez said his friend stays at the park and he immediately rushed over to see if he was OK.
“It was surreal,” he told News4Jax. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
He said that fortunately, his friend was out of town.
“I feel great that my friend is OK. Just so happened that he’s already left and not here, so by the time he called me back and I was there, I felt relieved to know that he wasn’t there,” Rodriguez explained.
A tornado rocked Kings Bay Base today in Georgia. https://t.co/af0XaGX3xJ | @LyftGyft pic.twitter.com/tKQUqLPOXL— News4JAX (@wjxt4) July 7, 2021
The storm also left a St. Marys neighborhood with significant damage. There were downed power lines and debris and trees in roadways.
Homeowner Rickey Sullivan said he returned home to see the damage. What appears to be a carport was crumbled, crushing some of the owner’s cars. He said his entire family lives in this neighborhood and he is grateful they are all safe.
“What am I going to do next? It’s terrible. My whole family is right here in a small circle. We’ve been here for 100 something years. This is the first time this has ever happened -- nothing to this severity,” he said.
His cousin, Raheem Johnson, said he saw the tornado and immediately took cover with their family.
“I noticed there was a big gust of wind that suddenly came through the window,” Johnson said. “I looked out there and I saw a funnel -- right here in the yard, spinning around.”
Power was out in the area Wednesday night, and crews were working to restore it.
IMAGES: Camden County storm damage
AT 10: Here’s a look at the apparent tornado damage in St. Mary’s. I spoke with a man who came home to find his home destroyed by the storm. I’ll have a live report on @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/5EU7DdD5ay— Corley Peel (@WJXT_CorleyPeel) July 8, 2021
Camden County was under a tornado warning from about 5:45 p.m. until about 6:30 p.m.
It was at least the third tornado confirmed Wednesday in the Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida area. The NWS estimates an EF-0 tornado touched down Wednesday morning in Columbia County. There were also reports of damage in Jacksonville after a confirmed tornado early Wednesday evening.
Radar CC #confirms debris from the tornado in Camden County past St Mary’s heading towards Kings Bay Base.— Danielle Uliano (@DanielleUliano) July 7, 2021
SHEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY 🌪 @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/8YzvVCujwe