First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 PM on 4/28, issued at 10:03 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Possible tornado hits Fernandina Beach

Reported by: Jamie Smith
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Updated: 6/07/2013 7:11 am
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Witnesses report seeing a tornado touch down in Fernandina Beach at about 5 p.m. Thursday. Shawn Johnson, a experienced local storm chaser, heard the tornado warning and grabbed his camera to shoot pictures of the storm cloud.

"It was almost like a ball", said Johnson, "It really wasn't tornado forming or tornado like. It was more like a ball. There was a lot of up-lift. You could see a little bit of the tornado and the debris, then it was gone."

Eyewitnesses say the tornado touched down and was gone within 20 seconds.  Also gone was the roof off a beach house on the 1600 block of South Fletcher Avenue.

Most of the roof flew about 100 feet and struck another house two doors down the beach where a family of eight on vacation from Atlanta was huddled in a closet with their dog.

Mike Ivie, who's renting the house for this week, said, "We all ran and got in the closet.  We heard a loud bang."

That "bang" was a roof from another house crashing against the side of his house.

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