EF-1 tornado hits Yulee

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A tornado touched down in Yulee as a result of today’s severe weather.

The Nassau County Emergency Management Division said soon after the storm that they confirmed a tornado, while the National Weather Service in Jacksonville needed to perform a full survey, confirming the tornado later Thursday night. NWS Jacksonville says the tornado had maximum winds reaching 100 mph and touched down for more than four miles.

“We had basically a merging thunderstorm complex right over Nassau County that spun up a tornado that moved pretty quickly to the north,” says NWS Jacksonville Meteorologist Ben Nelson.

Emergency Management says about 40 homes in the Meadowfield Bluffs subdivision off A1A have been damaged, and they’re currently assessing the extent.

The Nassau County Sheriff says a semi overturned around A1A and Gene Lassere Blvd in Yulee. Emergency Management is reporting a lot of tree damage, including about 100 trees down around Blackmon Road and Angie Road. There is also reports of flooding, with NWS Jacksonville saying there were 3-5 inches of rain in the storm.

The focus right now is clearing roads of some of the major debris, especially the Meadowfield subdivision which seems to have had much of the concentrated damage. Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper expects the formal site survey and storm classification to happen Friday.

“Thankfully, we haven’t heard of any injuries so far,” Leeper says.

WOKV listener Frank was in the area as the storm touched down.

“The rain was blowing heading south, then all of a sudden it started heading north, and all the twigs and trees that were around me, it was just blowing all over my truck,” he says.

He says he didn’t realize at the time what was happening, but when he realized it, he just wanted to get somewhere safe.

“I didn’t want to visit Oz today,” he says.

Nelson says this tornado underscores how seriously everyone needs to take even the “routine” summer storms, because you never know what kind of intensity will pick up.

By: Stephanie Brown, Updated: 9:35 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 | Posted: 2:39 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016
Photo: By Amanda on the WOKV News Twitter “Damage in Yulee from apparent tornado”

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Kyrie Wagner

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