77ºF

Nearly 20-mile path of EF-1 tornado in Flagler wasn’t longest track Central Florida has seen

Remember these?

Damage left behind in area of Seminole Woods in Palm Coast after EF-1 tornado rips through nearly 20 miles of Flagler County. (Image: Tracy Casas-Jones)
Damage left behind in area of Seminole Woods in Palm Coast after EF-1 tornado rips through nearly 20 miles of Flagler County. (Image: Tracy Casas-Jones)

The EF-1 tornado that ripped through Flagler County brought reports of significant damage to the area, but it isn’t the first time the county has seen those conditions.

In fact, the rotating weather system that eerily swept through the area Saturday morning did so on the same date an EF-1 ripped through Palm Coast six years ago.

Saturday’s tornado, which had wind speeds of 110 mph, just 1 mph of being an EF-2, left damage from south of Bunnell to the Gamble Rogers area of Flagler Beach, county officials said.

On this same date six years ago -- Dec. 14, 2013 -- seven homes were destroyed and more than 150 others were damaged by an EF-1 tornado that struck the Indian Trails neighborhood of Palm Coast. That tornado was 25 to 75 yards wide and caused $5.3 million in damages.

A EF1 tornado hits Palm Coast on Dec. 14, 2019.
A EF1 tornado hits Palm Coast on Dec. 14, 2019.

[FLASHBACK: 171 homes damaged by Palm Coast tornado]

Saturday’s tornado had an impressive path, with National Weather Service officials saying it was on the ground for 19.66 miles. The cost of damages from Saturday’s tornado have not yet been determined.

Still though, it isn’t the only long-track tornado Central Florida has seen in recent years.

If you’ve lived in Florida for awhile, you may remember these:

Groundhog Day tornadoes -- 2007

It’s been more than 12 years since the Central Florida Groundhog Day tornadoes that killed 21 people and injured more than 100 others.

Three tornadoes touched down in Lake and Volusia counties, with at least one of the twisters considered an F-3 tornado with 158-206 mph winds on the old Fujita Scale. After this series of twisters, the scale was enhanced by weather officials due to changes in building codes and is now known as the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is why tornadoes are now measured on a scale ranging from EF-0 to EF-5.

photo

That outbreak consisted of a twister that was on the ground for more than 26 miles, according to News 6 meteorologist Jonathan Kegges.

The worst of the damage from the 2007 outbreak was seen in Lady Lake, the Lake Mack area and New Smyrna Beach.

The twisters destroyed more than 800 homes and other buildings and damaged hundreds of others.

The deadly outbreak hit in the middle of the night while many were asleep, causing more than $200 million worth of damage.

1998 outbreak

Between 11 p.m. Feb. 22 and 2:30 a.m. Feb. 23, 1998, seven tornadoes swept through Osceola, Orange and Brevard counties, killing 42 people and injuring more than 260 others, according to the National Weather Service.

The longest of the seven tornadoes was an F-3 on the old Fujita Scale, which would have had winds up to 158-206 mph, and was on the ground for about 28 miles, the NWS said in a report.

The National Weather service said the tornadoes were unusually strong for the area and produced damage estimated in excess of $100 million.

At that time, the outbreak was ranked ninth for greatest in loss of life in terms of single-event, weather-related fatalities in Florida, a report from the NWS said.

Click here for more facts and photos of the deadly outbreak.

Do you remember any of the these disasters in Central Florida’s history? Share your photos and memories of them with us at web@wkmg.com.


About the Authors: