Sunday’s storm spawns tornados

April22tornado

A tornado moved across Okaloosa Island, the Santa Rosa Sound and into Fort Walton Beach April. 22. (Google Maps)

HOLT, Fla., April 24, 2018–Storms across the National Weather Service forecast area spawned several tornados Sunday.

No injuries associated with the storms were reported.

As the system moved across the forecast area, tornado activity caused damage in Fort Walton Beach and Molino, Fla., as well as Baldwin and Crenshaw counties in Alabama.

Straight-line winds also caused damage in Escambia County in Alabama southeast of Brewton.

Several videos were captured of a waterspout moving onshore in Fort Walton Beach at 4:13 p.m. Sunday.

Sailfish

An EF-1 tornado damaged a house on Sailfish Drive on Okaloosa Island April 22. (Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office)

Once ashore on Okaloosa Island, the tornado produced significant damage to a home on Sailfish Drive, according to a survey report published by the National Weather Service in Mobile.

The tornado then moved across Santa Rosa Sound and into Fort Walton Beach, producing tree damage and broken windows at City Hall and St Mary Catholic Church and School.

Housing Authority

Sunday’s tornado damaged roofs of several units at the Fort Walton Beach Housing Authority (Fort Walton Beach Police Department)

The tornado continued northeast across Robinwood Drive and damaged the roofs of several units in an apartment complex, before finally weakening and lifting just north of Jet Drive, cutting a path 50 yards wide and 1.24-mile long, according to the survey.

According to a Facebook release by City Hall Sunday, damage included downed power lines and power poles, downed trees, roof damage, shattered glass and vehicle damage in the areas of  Kenwood, Industrial/Maples, Hollywood/Jet and parts of Ocean City-Wright outside the city limits.

By 4:18 p.m., the tornado was gone.

The tornado was classified as an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale and had winds between 100-105 mph.

In Molino, an EF-0 tornado left a .13-mile track on Crabtree Church Road.

One home suffered shingle damage and a broken window and a mobile home was shifted on its foundation. Several small trees were uprooted and large branches were broken, according to a NWS survey.

Escambia County Emergency Communications received a call from home owners at 1:23 p.m. Sunday reporting damage.

Escambia Fire Rescue and Emergency Management crews responded and found approximately five structures with slight-to-moderate damage, according to an Escambia Emergency Management Facebook release.

Several downed trees and power lines were also found in the area.

No injuries were reported.

In Alabama, Crenshaw County experienced a couple of EF-1 tornados that destroyed a mobile home, tore a roof off a barn and uprooted trees.

And in Baldwin County, a couple of EF-0 tornados overturned five recreational vehicles injuring three people inside.

Stephanie Holcombe

 

 

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