JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Families in Jacksonville’s Lakewood neighborhood were out Saturday working in their yards to clean up debris from a tornado spawned during Tropical Storm Elsa.
The EF-1 tornado ripped through streets and backyards in Jacksonville’s San Jose and Lakewood neighborhoods, leaving downed powerlines, branches everywhere and a lot of damage.
The National Weather Service said the tornado produced wind speeds of up to 110 mph as it moved north nearly 4 miles through San Jose, across Interstate 95, and into Arlington.
INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: Videos, photos show the path of a destructive Jacksonville tornado | PHOTOS: Florida, Georgia clean up after destruction from Elsa
Along the way, the 150-yard-wide twister snapped trees, flung fences, and caused damage to homes along Old Kings Road South, Powers Avenue, and beyond.
On Saturday, piles of branches were stacked along the roadway waiting for pickup as many families were out in the yards trying to move on from the mess the tornado left behind.
Mark Has and his wife were out cleaning Saturday, and he told News4Jax he felt his house shake minutes after the tornado warning.
“Then we came outside and saw a whole bunch of tree branches fall, the fence down, the roof off. The house over there got hit the most over there,” Has said. “But we were blessed that nobody got hurt, and that’s the important thing.”
The tornado reached peak intensity and width as it crossed Philips Highway and moved along Bowdendale Avenue. Significant damage was reported to several industrial buildings in that area, NWS said.
One of those businesses captured terrifying video of the twister in action:
‼️🌪 MUST WATCH VIDEO 🌪‼️— Zachery Lashway (@ZachLashway) July 8, 2021
This is video from Secur-Net USA, Inc..
I am speaking with an employee of the video monitoring business who watched it all happen. His words, what he heard and saw, and how he felt ahead on @wjxt4. #TropicalStormElsa #FLwx pic.twitter.com/LkKwJ5AbPr