Lake County residents surprised after strong storms, hail move through

Lake County reported no major structural damage or injuries.

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Homeowners in Clermont and the Four Corners area said they were caught off guard by Tuesday’s weather event that resulted in a large amount of hail falling in Lake County.

Inside the Sawgrass neighborhood in Clermont, homeowners were busy cleaning up debris from the storm.

Mark Fuller said he has just returned home when he heard the fast-moving wind outside.

“That is not snow, it is in fact hail,” Fuller said. “I opened the back and said, ‘Oh my gosh’. Then we opened up the garage, looked out the garage and that’s where I got the video of what was happening outside. It was amazing. Like I said I’m a Florida native over 60 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Adrain Freeman said he was driving home during the storm and was surprised to see hail outside his home.

“I’ve lived here since 2003 and this is the most, worst weather other than a hurricane,” Freeman said. “It’s almost May and here we are having ice fall from the sky in all the quantities and it’s lasted for hours.”

Hail lines a truck bed Tuesday as a storm passes through Central Florida. PinIt! provided by lymmo31. (Copyright WKMG 2023)

Lake County reported no major structural damage or injuries.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

In the Four Corners area, residents described the storm’s appearance as sudden.

“It just started gusting, coming down in buckets.  It was bouncing off everything.  From the pea-sized to the golf ball-sized hail just bouncing off everything,” said Brett Baldwin, who lives off St. Augustine Street.

“Florida hail, you expect little pea-size stuff.  Not golf balls coming down,” he said.

Patricia Walsh, who lives off Green Point Court, said her home sustained two broken windows because of the hail.

“First time having hail and this is more intense than any hurricane we’ve ever had, and we’ve had quite a few,” she said.

“We’re lucky it’s just the two windows.  It could have been much worse,” Walsh added.

Over in Groveland, resident Chris Hands said he was sleeping at home when he the sounds of the strong winds woke him up, thinking it might be a tornado.

“The size of the hail I’ve never seen,” Hands said. “It was crazy a lot of wind, I thought it was a tornado. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Hands said the storm caused a window in his shed to break and hail put ding marks on his car.

Another couple, who asked not to be named, said they were out cleaning up debris on the streets near South Lake Avenue and Swanson Street in Groveland. They are also volunteers with a disaster relief response team, so they’ve helped people in the past.

“I was kind of surprised because I don’t think of hail that much here. The drains were just totally covered with leaves and everything and debris and felt like it needed to be cleaned up,” they said. “You can lose a tree here and there you can have to clean up some stuff, but it’s when people get hurt that it’s really really sad.”

Sarah Panko, Public Information Manager for Groveland Public Safety shared a video showing the hail raining down on the city.

“Groveland is resilient and as you can see neighbors are helping neighbors and that’s what we do here,” Panko said.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Authors:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.