Video: EF-2 tornado causes ‘significant damage’ in DeLand

Severe weather warnings issued as storms rip through region

ORLANDO, Fla. – Severe storms, including an EF-2 tornado, ripped through Central Florida on Tuesday afternoon, causing “significant damage” in DeLand and prompting deputies to go door to door looking for possible victims, according to sheriff’s officials.

A tornado warning was issued for the area as strong storms passed through the region. It expired at 4:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service visited the area Wednesday to assess the damage and determined an EF-2 tornado touched down.

Severe storms, including a possible tornado, ripped through Central Florida on Tuesday afternoon, causing “significant damage” in DeLand and prompting deputies to go door to door looking for possible victims, according to sheriff’s officials.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office tweeted, “Significant storm damage, Pine St, DeLand,” along with several photos, one of which shows a house with a collapsed roof. Another photo showed downed power lines and trees.

Video from Sky 6 showed several homes that sustained serious damage, with debris and downed power lines and trees.

As of 8:30 p.m., 3,000 businesses and homes were without power, officials said.

Chris Graham, a spokesman for the city of DeLand, said officials haven’t received reports of any injuries.

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Storm damage in DeLand

“I think at the onset of the storm, there were some reports of people trapped inside their homes, because of flash flooding,” Graham said. “Right outside of city hall we had water lapping up to the steps of city hall. Downtown is known to flood, but in all my years here, I have never seen anything like that.”

Anyone who is looking for family members impacted by the storm can reunite in DeLand at 843 N. Woodland Boulevard, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The city of DeLand, meanwhile, tweeted video of street flooding.

“Avoid New York Avenue at Florida Avenue,” the city tweeted.

The city also tweeted, “People traveling home from work need to avoid North DeLand. Multiple trees and power lines down. Photos taken in North Orange/North Adelle area.”

The American Red Cross is assisting families affected by the damage.

Debbie Cassidy lives on Washington Avenue, her home was damaged by the twister.

When it started, she says she started praying until it was over.

“I prayed harder that five, ten minutes than I’ve every prayed in my life and the lord got us through,” Cassidy said.

After it had ended, Cassidy described the aftermath as a “war zone.”

The roof of her neighbor’s home was gone but Cassidy said she was lucky with very little structural damage to her home.

“My brother had three huge sheds in the backyard. All gone. He found two of his boat motors down the block,” Cassidy said.

UPDATE: While another line of strong storms moved through Central Florida on Tuesday, the National Weather Service began issuing warnings.

Shortly before 3:55 p.m., a tornado warning was issued for DeLand until 4:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service said at 4:09 p.m. that the tornado warning for Volusia County remained in effect.

DeLand city officials tweeted video that showed flooding in the area of New York and Florida avenues. The water could be seen almost reaching the top of a tire on a truck that was trying to drive through at the time.

A flood advisory was also in effect for parts of Brevard County, according to local emergency operations officials. Brevard EOC officials said in a tweet that strong winds and hail were possible.

More than 1,800 customers near Buenaventura Lakes in Osceola County were left without power when Tuesday’s storms downed power lines, according to the Kissimmee Utility Authority outage map.

The outage impacted customers west of Florida’s Turnpike near Oak Run Boulevard to east of Simpson Road, according to the KUA map.

KUA was on scene to repair the power lines with an estimated restoration time of about 1 hour, according to the company’s website.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


It will be hot and stormy on Election Day in Central Florida.

Orlando will reach a high near 94 Tuesday, with a 60% coverage of rain. The average high on this date is 92. The record high is 101, set in 1916.

“Storms will start to strike after 2 p.m.,” Bridges said. “There’s a 70% coverage of rain the rest of the week.”

Highs will stay in the mid-90s through the weekend.

Orlando’s yearly rain deficit stands at 1.90 inches.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

From chasing tornadoes and tracking the tropics, to forecasting ice storms and other dangerous weather, Troy Bridges has covered it all! Troy is an award-winning meteorologist who always prepares you for the day ahead on the News 6 Morning News.