Storms leave trail of damage across Jacksonville
2 storm cells pass through northeast Florida Saturday afternoon
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – All tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings have ended for Florida, but two rounds of storms Saturday downed trees, knocked out power and halted the music at the Welcome to Rockville concert.
Storm damage was reported from a second storm system that tore through Jacksonville around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
No injuries were reported, but the city of Jacksonville reported that about 20 individuals have been displaced from homes due to storm damages. The American Red Cross of Northeast Florida opened a shelter at Faith United Methodist Church, 4000 Spring Park Road, for people with storm damage who can't stay in their homes or don't have power.
Viewers reported seeing a tornado in South Metro and Mandarin late Saturday afternoon, but there were conflicting reports on if and where touched down.
It will be up to the National Weather Service to determine if it was a tornado or if the damage was caused from straight-line winds.
There was heavy tree damage along Parkwood Street and Hendricks Avenue, just north of Emerson Street. The street was covered with trees and at least two homes suffered serious damage to their roofs.
There were also trees down on Spring Park Road, near Englewood Elementary School.
Robert Humphreys spent Saturday night working to remove the tree that had fallen on his wife's car. He says he'll never forget those moments leading up to the storm.
"I grabbed my little girl and my wife and we went and got down in the hallway. It literally lasted maybe two minutes," Humphreys said.
Through it all, neighbors were on hand helping one another out. For Lenh Phan, his help comes from his parents. He has some damage to his home and his carport is destroyed. He said he doesn't have homeowner's insurance.
According to JEA's website, at least 1,000 customers were still without power as of 9 p.m. Saturday. Most of the outages were on the Southside, with several traffic signals out on University Boulevard.
Downpours also forced two separate suspensions of the Welcome to Rockville concert at Metropolitan Park as both round of the storm brought downpours and a risk of lightning across downtown.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch across most of northeast Florida through 4 p.m. because conditions are conducive to the formation of twisters. Doppler radar indicated rotation in Columbia Columbia just before 1 p.m. and the storm is moving east at 40-45 mph. The warning moved to Baker County, then to northeastern Clay, southern Duval and northwestern St. Johns counties through the afternoon.
While that system moved off the coast by 5 p.m., the second, smaller round of storms approached metro Jacksonville just before 6 p.m. and seemed to cause most of the damage.
Similar conditions forecast on Sunday could bring a repeat of the Saturday's weather, although perhaps not as strong.
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