by: Amanda Warford Updated:PALATKA, Fla. —
Evidence of a powerful storm that tore through Putnam County Thursday afternoon could be seen hours after the storm.
Wind gusts nearly toppled a gas station canopy at the intersection of Highway 100 and State Road 19.
"You couldn’t see. Nothing was visible. There’s so much rain that fell," said Vicky Ayala, who was completely caught off guard by the storm.
"All of a sudden you hear thunder, thunder, thunder and then all of a sudden the trees started blowing like crazy," Ayala said.
The winds reached between 40-60 mph and knocked over multiple power lines, many along Highway 100. Hours after the storm, crews from Clay Electric Co-Op continued to remove limbs and restore service to more than 1,000 customers like Ayala.
A tree also nearly crushed the roof at a home on Springside Shortcut Road, near where Ayala says there was heavy flooding right after the storm.
"I honestly didn’t think anybody would be coming down this road," Ayala said.
But someone tried, and attempted to drive around a tree that was blocking the road.
"Next thing you know he just fell in that ditch and it was like crazy for a while," Ayala said.
Power lines had to be cut to get him out.
"Now it’s worse because how long could it take for them to fix this?" Ayala said.
Forestry officials also confirmed five wildfires were sparked by lightning.
To view current power outages in Putnam County view Clay Electric's outage map.