EF-2 tornado damages parts of Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A line of thunderstorms moving east of downtown produced damaging winds that took down trees and fences in Arlington and flooded streets east of the St. Johns River -- including the Arlington Expressway -- on Thursday afternoon.

There was a report that a tornado may have briefly touched down near the intersection of Monument Road near McCormick about 4:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service said the tornado was an EF-2 with wind speeds of 125 mph. NWS said it is still determining how long the tornado touched the ground and how wide it was.

Viewer Erin Fischer snapped a photo of a funnel cloud while driving on McCormick Road.

WJXT-TV viewers called in reports and sent photos of trees down along Monument Road and in nearby neighborhoods. There were also fences and sheds damaged in the area.

The Mathews Bridge eastbound was closed during the afternoon rush hour due to standing water on the Arlington Expressway. The westbound lanes were allowed to reopen at 5:40 p.m.

Meteorologist John Gaughan said the storm dropped 3 to 4 inches of rain in about 30 minutes. Street flooding was reported in several areas of Arlington.

The Red Cross said volunteers worked with a number of families following Thursday's severe weather in the Ft. Caroline area. Volunteers provided three families with lodging and food.

Residents who are still in need are being asked to call the Red Cross offices at 904-358-8091.

Meanwhile, rain is expected through the weekend in Central Florida.

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