‘It took out the windows:’ Video shows Ocala tornado damage as it happens

National Weather Service confirms EF-1 tornado touched town

OCALA, Fla. – New video shows the aftermath of a tornado tearing through Ocala over the weekend.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado, with winds of 110 mph, touched down Saturday morning.

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In its damage survey, NWS Jacksonville said the 200-yard-wide tornado traveled a path of approximately 25 miles from Dunnellon to Ocala in over 28 minutes.

Alex Sierra shared video with News 6 that captured the twister on a dash camera as it moved through the area. He said he was sitting in the drive-thru at the Dunkin’ on Highway 200 in Ocala when it all happened.

“It was scary. I think I got out pretty lucky,” Sierra said. “When It was done, I was like holy crap it’s a tornado.”

The video shows the camera shaking as the wind picked up and objects flew toward his windshield. As the video continues, you can see heavy rain and more objects flying around. You can also see damage to windows and a door of the Dunkin’.

Details in the NWS damage report described many uprooted trees in the north and east sides of Ocala, a toppled billboard, buildings with peeled siding near Dunnellon, downed power lines and damage to numerous residences, including an apartment building.

News 6 stopped by the Tires Plus on Highway 200 in Ocala where we saw windows are boarded up, and the store sign destroyed. Workers said it was scary.

“The lights went out and we heard the windows breaking,” said John Everett, an employee at Tires Plus.

John Alvarez owns a trucking broker business also off of Highway 200. He said his workers had to duck for cover when the storm came through, and now he’s left to assess the damages.

“The window on this end was blown out,” Alvarez said. “We’ve been here a long time, this is the first time we had a tornado like this.”

There were no injuries reported, but damage estimates are already in the millions.

About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.