ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - “I hear like a loud, like, wind. Like a train. Then we hear a loud crash in the living room,” Mia Bradley said.
Once the sun came up and the assessments were done, it was clear the Heritage Landing neighborhood took a beating. Action News Jax was there as the National Weather Service and St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center crews surveyed the area. About 10 p.m. Tuesday night, an EF-1 tornado plowed through.
“The path is about six-tenths of a mile long and it was one-tenth of a mile wide,” National Weather Service meteorologist Al Sandrik said.
Video of Servepro employees hauling away one garage door. It was completely dented in by the storm. pic.twitter.com/Sr5CZsaxlL— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) February 8, 2017
At one house on Snail Kite Court, the garage door was ripped off and tossed onto the roof. Next door, the damage was obvious from the outside with blown out windows and caved in ceilings. Glass and debris were everywhere.
“I believe all the damage that was done to just this one house,” Jostice Scott said.
Sky Action News Jax, the only news helicopter in town, gave us a view from above. It confirmed what we saw from the ground: battered roofs, shingles and paneling thrown like toys – and an awful lot to clean up.
New storm damage aerials from St. Johns County: pic.twitter.com/3gsfd216U9— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) February 8, 2017
Sandrik said there wasn’t much time for these homeowners to prepare. The good news is everyone made it through safely.
“Coming across the St. Johns River, the jet stream was able to get down to the surface, spun up a very rapid tornado. This was an unwarned event. We did not see it on radar,” Sandrik said.
This play set didn't stand a chance in the storm. pic.twitter.com/7uWaJIqWf7— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) February 8, 2017
The National Weather Service said the tornado went about six-tenths of a mile through Heritage Landing and only lasted roughly 50 seconds to 2 minutes.
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