Duval County

Tornado rips roof off 51-year-old family-owned business on Jacksonville’s Southside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In 51 years of business, there’s never been 20 seconds like this. A tornado tore through Jacksonville’s Southside yesterday and left a mess along Richard Street.

Security video given to Action News Jax shows the intense moments where a roof ripped off from a local business.

Cannon’s, a local and family-owned towing business said the debris seen in the video is from their roof.

Cannon’s is located on Richard St. and the video is captured from Stepp Ave.

Family members from Cannon’s tell Action News Jax pieces of their roof can be seen down both streets.

“I’m still in shock, I don’t think it’s really hit us,” Brittani Phillips said.

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The aftermath left family members of the business, like Phillips, heartbroken. The tornado threw pieces of the roof onto other streets and pieces were left hanging from the top of a nearby cell tower.

Power lines were ripped down and the air conditioning unit was ripped out as well. Phillips showed the damage to Action News Jax reporter Ben Ryan.

“This used to be covered, it was part of the top of the roof and this got slammed down.” Phillips pointed towards the roof. “The power cord or power line from the building got yanked out and hanging across over there, a lot of the tin roof has come out and we have trees in the warehouse.”

A bird’s eye view from above with Action News Jax Sky Vision Drone shows debris left all over Richard Street. Along with a roof, fences and branches were part of the wreckage.

Wayne Griffin, a neighboring employee, works at Secur-Net USA, Inc. and said his car window was cracked from the debris.

Secur-Net USA, Inc. is the business that captured the damage and Griffin says he ducked for cover when it came through.

“I heard like, loud fireworks, cannon blast and transformers blowing,” Griffin said. “Mother Nature...don’t mess with, that little, short minute that came through here did a lot of damage.”

Phillips says community outreach has been overwhelming and they’re working harder than ever to get back on their feet.

“Luckily, we work as a unit and we have everybody here,” Phillips said. “Everyone is putting their hands together lets see what we can do and try to get back fully operational as soon as possible.”

The tornado was short but left a lot of damage and debris behind.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but Phillips’ grandfather started the business and recently passed away.

Seeing family history and all that hard work now damaged hits close to home.

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“Everyone here is considered family and just to see this is heartbreak and something so personal and so close, that hits home a lot,” Phillips said.

Action News Jax is told family members of the business are still looking at insurance and estimate costs.

“Any day we’re above ground is a blessing so that’s the way we have to look at it,” Phillips said.

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