26 Mar A Strong Reminder – Florida Severe Weather
After several mild months, this Sunday, Floridians received a strong reminder of just what powerful weather our state can produce. The severe storm system traveled quickly across the state Sunday afternoon and produced gale force winds over 80 miles per hour. It knocked down trees, damaged homes and left thousands without power. Utility crews continue to work overtime to restore area outages.
According to an Orlando Sentinel report, “Storm trackers issued the first tornado warning after radar detected a possible twister over the Windermere area south of Winter Garden about 2:20 p.m. However, there were no confirmed reports of tornado touchdowns. The warnings covered SeaWorld, Universal Studios and other attractions as well as Orlando International Airport, where sensors recorded a wind gust of 86 mph and measured more than an inch of rain.” Click here to see video reports from heavy rain, wind and hail damage in the Conway area. This homeowner describes how high winds and rain dropped a large tree onto his Conway house.
Central Florida News 13 emergency manager noted a local storm report of a measured wind gust of 86 mph from the west-northwest in the Dr. Phillips, Orange County area. Sunday afternoon reports continued with roof damage to a Cape Canaveral apartment building; no one was injured, but flooding damaged some of the apartments. Another report by the Brevard Emergency Manager noted that a plane flipped over at KTIX – Titusville Airport. The storm forced officials at the Airshow in Titusville to move several performers up in their schedule. Just as the show ended the storms moved in, and strong winds overturned portable toilets, brought tents down and sent chairs flying.
“The situation… was a very intense line of thunderstorms that moved across the state,” said Scott Spratt with the National Weather Service. Standing water and snapped tree limbs turned many streets into obstacle courses. Wind damaged carports and sheds, and small limbs littered many residential streets and yards. In Orlando, Newstalk Florida reports that traffic signals at more than 100 intersections were left without power after the severe thunderstorm swept through the area. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office warned motorists to use extreme caution, and the Orlando Police directed traffic around downed branches and tree limbs and critical traffic jams at intersections where dozens of traffic signals were out.
Officials were forced to postpone the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, and the Golf Channel declared that the storm dumped nearly 1 1/2 inches on Bay Hill and formed small ponds in the fairways –there was even a fish in the middle of the 18th fairway. The wind toppled the TV tower behind the 10th green, which was a pile of metal poles, wood, mesh netting and had a stationary camera in the middle of it all.
Outages and cleanup efforts by power crews and families remain in the aftermath of the line of Central Florida storms. Despite the ferocious winds, no severe injuries were reported, said Dave Sharp, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Melbourne. Forecasters there tracked the fast-moving parade of storms from Lake Louisa State Park in Lake County through downtown Orlando to the Brevard County coastline. Photos capture the massive damaged throughout the area.
Although cooler temperatures have followed Sunday’s storm system, current conditions report winds should remain a mild 6-8 miles per hour with Orlando area high temperatures reaching about 78 degrees by the weekend. However, we know this too shall pass! Hurricane season is fast approaching, and Florida’s rainy season will soon be here. Now is the time to prepare your family and your home for severe weather. A thorough roof and exterior home inspection is the best way to deflect potential storm damage. A small investment now can offset possible thousands of dollars of unnecessary expense. Watch our upcoming blogs for tips on household storm preparedness, and contact Universal Roof & Contracting for information on preventative storm maintenance and a free inspection-estimate. Or you may contact one of these Florida Emergency Management Offices or the Florida Division of Disaster Management for severe weather and emergency preparedness resources.
Listen every Sunday at 2pm to “In The House with Ken & Jared” on WDBO’s News Talk FM96.5. Visit us online at Universal Roof & Contracting or call us now for a free estimate on your next Home Improvement Project. 407-295-7403