JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The National Weather Service says a thunderous storm
spawned an EF-2 tornado in Jacksonville Thursday afternoon, leaving some communities in the dark and trapped by falling trees.
Other neighborhoods are wading in deep water.
The tornado is the strongest to hit Jacksonville since 2004 when Tropical Storm Bonnie spun off a twister in NW Jacksonville.
Thursday's tornado reached EF-2 status briefly, with 120 mile-per-hour winds, in the area around Derringer Road where the twister originated.
The NWS says the twister formed at Monument and Derringer at 4:20 p.m. and rolled east before dissipating at McCormick and Kernan.
Most of the damage came from an EF-1 tornado, with winds between 80-110 miles-per-hour.
JEA crews, along with help from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, are now cutting through downed trees to get power lines up, and ultimately the lights back on at homes in East Arlington, Regency and Wonderwood. Monument Road reopened shortly before 8 p.m.
JSO held a news conference to report damage to two homes on Fort Caroline Lakes Drive. A tree landed on both homes.
There is also damage to a home on Black Oak Trail.
In all, 5 to 6 homes and between 15 and 20 structures were damaged in the storm in a one mile radius.
One child suffered minor injuries while inside a damaged home.
Michael Magan, who lives near Shadowood Park and Monument Road, described to Action News on Facebook what he saw.
"Looked like a tornado or waterspout came through," he said. "The other side was worse looked like a house was wiped out as there was a water heater laying in the middle of the road," said Magan.
Mel Abando told Action News via Facebook his street is flooded again. He posted a photo of three people up to their waists in water, as if the street turned into a swimming pool.
The National Weather Service also reported deep water at Singleton's in Mayport, an area that saw more than 3-inches of rain in only 15 minutes.
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