Most of North and Central Florida just received a much-needed, steady, soaking rain Saturday night. However, some residents of Flagler County are picking up pieces to their homes today, after those soggy skies turned violent when an EF1 tornado hit Palm Coast with winds up to 105 mph. Seven homes were completely destroyed, and officials said 164 were damaged by the storm.
The National Weather Service in Jacksonville conducted a damage survey Sunday and found that the rare December tornado first touched down north of Espanola at 6:55pm, and then intermittently touched down on a path totaling 9.5 miles across the “B” Section of Palm Coast. Surveyors said the damage path ranged from 75 yards to a maximum of 150 yards on Bannbury Lane, before weakening as it moved offshore across the “F” and Hammock sections.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or NOAA), tornadoes can and do occur any time of year in Florida. However, December is typically one of the quieter months, with an average of only two occurring across the entire state per year.