‘It was devastating’: Mandarin community facing aftermath of storm that damaged homes, blocked roads

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Families in Mandarin are cleaning up the damage from a storm that came through Thursday.

Around 8:15 p.m. Thursday, JEA reported 926 customers were affected by power outages in the area as well as a few others in nearby pockets.

“It was devastating,” Craig Taylor said about a tree that had fallen on a carport housing his truck and his wife’s car on Scott Mill Place.

Taylor believes the storm that tore through his neighborhood was a tornado. He said his wife and neighbor were inside the house adjacent to the carport when the wind grew stronger than he’s ever seen in his 62 years of living in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Fire and Recuse said no one was seriously hurt.

Taylor is grateful that his wife and neighbor weren’t hurt — and neither were his four cats, Raven, Logan, Oreo and Runa, even though some of them live outside.

For Taylor, the quick and powerful storm is a reminder that things can be replaced, but people can’t.

“You can die in one second...I appreciate life every day I wake up,” Taylor said.

The storm also brought down branches and littered streets with debris, shutting down some roadways, like Scott Mill Road.

Damage was spotted on Sylvan Lane after storms Thursday. (WJXT)

On nearby Sylvan Lane, a tree was uprooted, a power pole was snapped in half, and a house was damaged by a fallen tree.

Workers were at Taylor’s home Thursday evening to cover a damaged section of roof with a tarp and begin clearing tree debris.

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I-TEAM and general assignment reporter