Farewell, Elsa. The tropical storm that strengthened twice to a Category 1 hurricane before weakening again to a tropical storm took aim at northeast Florida and southeast Georgia Wednesday, leaving behind damage, injuries and sadly, claimed the life of one person in Jacksonville.
Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says the storm is now becoming caught in the mid-latitude flow over the U.S. and will continue northeast and accelerate, moving across the Carolinas to Chesapeake Bay through Thursday, to near coastal New England Friday mostly as a minimal tropical storm. It will then move near and east of Newfoundland, where it will become a post-tropical low pressure area.
MORE: Talking the Tropics With Mike: Elsa moving northeast across the SE U.S.
Locally, Jacksonville and surrounding areas experienced heavy wind and rainfall, flooding and isolated tornadoes. Peak wind gusts were generally between 30 and 50 mph and rainfall averaged 1-3 inches, while a few areas had 3-6 inches. Elsa’s impact caused trees to fall, damaged homes and cars, left dozens without power and left behind several trails of debris.
During the storm, a large branch from a tree fell onto two cars on Roosevelt Boulevard in Jacksonville, leaving one person dead.
#firstalertwx #Elsa Duval Co. - 1 killed when tree fell, Ortega @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/azDXiM3XUx— Mike Buresh (@MikeFirstAlert) July 8, 2021
Peak wind reports from #Elsa. #FirstAlertWX pic.twitter.com/9KfFCaOb6y— Garrett Bedenbaugh (@wxgarrett) July 8, 2021
Here are some #Elsa rainfall totals across NE Florida and SE Georgia. #FirstAlertWX pic.twitter.com/OlhpGK4vmU— Garrett Bedenbaugh (@wxgarrett) July 8, 2021
The First Alert Weather team confirmed three tornadoes Wednesday -- one in Duval, one in Camden and one in Columbia counties.
Action News Jax reported when the first tornado touched down that morning near State Road 47 and Raven Lane in Lake City. It was given an EF-0 rating. According to the First Alert Weather team, the EF scale is a set of wind estimates based on damage. An EF-0 rating implies that the tornado’s wind speeds were between 65-85 mph.
Storm surveyors in Duval County have preliminary assigned the second tornado, that was spotted in the Philips Highway area just west of I-95 in Jacksonville, an EF-1 rating, implying its wind speeds were between 86-110 mph.
Surveillance video shown below captured it outside of Cannon’s on Richard Street.
A preliminary National Weather Service survey found EF-2 damage from the third tornado that ripped through a RV park near Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Camden County, Georgia around 5:44 p.m. Wednesday. An EF-2 rating means the tornado’s wind speeds were between 111-135 mph. That tornado had wind speeds at 128 mph. It caused several RVs to flip over and left at least 10 people hurt.
Camden county, GA tornado: RV Park near Kings Bay.— Garrett Bedenbaugh (@wxgarrett) July 8, 2021
Preliminary NWS survey finds EF-2 damage from a tornado. #FirstAlertWX @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews @RichJonesJax pic.twitter.com/kQM8NY2sL6
Flooding began to impact low-lying driveways and access roads along Creek Street, Black Creek Drive and Lightning Lane. Docks and other low lying property along the creek also began to flood.
This morning I am tracking the South Fork of Black Creek. Some minor flooding now forecast today. It is quickly rising to "minor" stage. May stay in the minor stage with some rain this afternoon. #FirstAlertWX @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews @ClayCounty_EM pic.twitter.com/gGt8ax2O93— Garrett Bedenbaugh (@wxgarrett) July 8, 2021
Local communities are now cleaning up the storm damage Elsa left behind. Though Elsa eventually weakened, it was the hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season. The next named storm of the season would be Fred.
See more photos and videos of Elsa’s impacts to the northeast Florida and southeast Georgia area below:
These pictures from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay are devastating! RVs from this RV park were ripped in half from the tornado. The commanding officer says 10 people were hurt with minor injuries. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews #Elsa pic.twitter.com/aP19xl6HJV— Alicia Tarancon (@AliciaANJax) July 8, 2021
KINGS BAY STORM DAMAGE: A viewer shared this video with us of flipped RVs at the park on the Kings Bay base in Camden County, Ga. The base said there are 'multiple injuries' after a tornado touched down | https://t.co/t1rktUwGqX pic.twitter.com/SvbPAqoVqN— ActionNewsJax (@ActionNewsJax) July 8, 2021
#firstalertwx From Jason - Waterspout taken at 4:00 from Nemours, looking south down the St. Johns - #Elsa - Wed. afternoon, 07/07 @WOKVNews @NWSJacksonville pic.twitter.com/2oAo8s1Ubr— Mike Buresh (@MikeFirstAlert) July 8, 2021
#TORNADODAMAGE: “I have 4 people’s fences in my backyard.”— Jessica Barreto (@BarretoReports) July 7, 2021
A neighbor here along Argentine Dr in Jacksonville is allowing to see the damage left behind near her home. You can see bent and leveled fences, and tree branches scattered throughout the whole perimeter. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/5Zw9Uhxj1x
Some trees down and debris on University at I-95. Power also appears to be out in some spots. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/DeYl4EjxSg— Robert Grant (@RobertANJax) July 7, 2021
#firstalertwx Philips Highway tornado damage #Elsa, Duval Co. @WOKVNews https://t.co/AcS0tXPMyb— Mike Buresh (@MikeFirstAlert) July 7, 2021
The aftermath.— Ben Ryan (@BenRyanANJax) July 8, 2021
Yes, part of the roof is on a cell tower. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/xRo5MUNPFc
Drone video of damage from St. Marys, GA. EF-2 tornado damage was confirmed at a RV park nearby at Kings Bay. Still awaiting the damage survey here. #FirstAlertWX @ActionNewsJax #Elsa #GAwx pic.twitter.com/S9ZJm0czXW— Garrett Bedenbaugh (@wxgarrett) July 8, 2021
Jacksonville FL tornado major damage Philips at University Blvd roofs gone trucks flipped @MikeFirstAlert @NWSJacksonville @ABC @CBSNews @NBCNews @FoxNews @JimCantore @weatherchannel @ReedTimmerAccu pic.twitter.com/POcjbHuLcW— Chris (@ChrisFLTornado) July 7, 2021
You need a canoe to pass on McCoys Creek Blvd not a car pic.twitter.com/ow1W4EwucD— Ben Becker (@BenBeckerANjax) July 7, 2021
McCoys Creek Blvd flooded out. JFRD came by to check to see if anyone is stranded #Elsa pic.twitter.com/eXocu8tIF8— Ben Becker (@BenBeckerANjax) July 7, 2021
Pickup truck appears to be stuck in high water on McCoys Creek Blvd pic.twitter.com/DP8JzQQ6Ls— Ben Becker (@BenBeckerANjax) July 7, 2021
TRACKING ELSA: you’re looking at MAJOR storm damage in one yard in Lake City. The trees you see are just few of many down. The residents say they’re still without power here. @ActionNewsJax #TropicalStormElsa pic.twitter.com/0PqXXf8tyo— Gretchen Kernbach (@GretchenK_TV) July 7, 2021
More pictures from Pinebrook Apartments on Powers Ave. after tornado warning @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/vuPc0IdRWl— Robert Grant (@RobertANJax) July 7, 2021
Lots of damage left over at this Powers Avenue apartment complex in Jacksonville after a tornado touched down @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews @wxgarrett pic.twitter.com/xiIiYBmTwZ— Alicia Tarancon (@AliciaANJax) July 8, 2021
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