Severe storms blow through St. Johns, Clay counties, cause damage

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A “treetop” tornado and severe thunderstorms with strong winds caused damage Tuesday evening in parts of Northeast Florida, according to News4Jax Chief Meteorologist John Gaughan.

John said the storms moved along northern Clay County to the coastal areas of St. Johns County between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

A National Weather Service employee reported EF-0 damage. A more complete report will be done in the daylight hours Wednesday.

There were multiple reports of damage after the severe storm blew through the area. Trees were uprooted and cars and homes were damaged.

“This was a long tracking rotating severe storm that dropped a tornado a number of times as it traveled from south of Tallahassee all the way across the state to St. Johns County,” John Gaughan said.

A1A was blocked about a mile south of Mickler’s Beach from tree damage. First responders with chainsaws cleared numerous spots down the road.

A video sent to News4Jax by Kathy Jett in Orange Park showed overturned planters and damage to an SUV that was caused by a large tree limb that had fallen to the ground.

Jett said the storm came through her area around 6:30 p.m.

“I saw all the limbs flying all different directions. We grabbed our young kids and went to the closet,” Jett said. “Never been through anything like this!”

The strong winds also uprooted a tree in Fruit Cove, a photo sent to News4Jax shows. Another tree fell on a house in the Fleming Island area.

Just before 7 p.m., severe storms with winds gusting up to 70 MPH moved through Middleburg, according to the National Weather Service. The storm moved quickly east towards Orange Park, Fleming Island and World Golf Village.

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