x
Breaking News
More () »

Tornado damage, flooding reported in Jacksonville as Tropical Storm Elsa moves out of First Coast

While Tropical Storm Elsa stayed to the west of metro Jacksonville, its impact is being felt throughout the area.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tropical Storm Elsa has left its mark on the First Coast. Damage from the storm has been reported in Columbia County and Elsa's outer bands spun up tornados in several areas, including one that ripped thru parts of Jacksonville's Southside late Wednesday afternoon.  

The center of the storm is moving into SE Georgia and impacts there will be felt into the evening. A tornado was reported in Camden County in the area of the Kings Bay Submarine Base.

Meteorologists say we could expect some flooding and power outages from Tropical Storm Elsa. Click here for more on the latest projected path, models, and potential impact on the First Coast.

Below is a list of major events that happened in real-time during Tropical Storm Elsa. This list is no longer being updated.

Thursday, July 8

9:02 a.m.: Black Creek's South Fork at Penney Farms is currently at 15 feet, which could cause issues for low-lying buildings along the creek. Normally issues occur around 16 feet, with water into homes at 17.5 feet. Flood stage is 14.5 feet.

A flood warning is in place for South Fork, with the NWS forecasting minor flooding, and remains in effect until Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.

7:32 a.m.: A storm survey team in Duval County preliminarily assigned an EF-1 rating to the tornado that moved across Philips Highway just west of I-95 Wednesday afternoon. That means the tornado's winds were between 86 and 110 miles per hour.

Most of the damage surveyed thus far has been along Bowendale Avenue. More information will follow as the survey continues its progress.

Story continues below.

Credit: First Coast News
A storm survey team in Jacksonville is assessing the damage left behind by an EF-1 tornado on the Southside along Bowendale Avenue.

RELATED: Major damage reported across Jacksonville as Tropical Storm Elsa spawns tornado, wind damage

3:56 a.m.: A preliminary NWS damage survey found the damage at the RV park near Kings Bay indicated the tornado there was an EF-2 with maximum sustained winds of 128 mph. There were multiple RVs flipped over, with two flipped completely upside down. One was flipped and blown about 200 feet into the lake north of the RV park, along with a pickup truck.

Wednesday, July 7

9:51 p.m.: San Jose resident reports 60-year-old magnolia tree falls, crashing on her home. No one was injured.

9:01 p.m.: JFRD called to water rescue on King Street along McCoy's Creek. A person got their vehicle stuck in height water and could not escape safely. The person was successfully rescued.

8:44: City of Brunswick reports high water in the city with cars both submerged and stranded. City urges residents to avoid driving if possible.

The rains have stopped or slowed down. However there is still flooding in many city streets. Many cars are stranded or...

Posted by City of Brunswick Georgia Police Department on Wednesday, July 7, 2021

8:42 p.m: The Florida Highway Patrol closed I-295 east beltway at I-95 on the northend due to high water. Traffic was diverted onto US 17.

8:00 p.m.: Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, along with other emergency personnel, held a press conference to update residents on damage throughout the city, and the work being done to clear the roads of debris and downed power lines. You can watch the entire press conference below.

7:00 p.m.: More than 10,000 customers in the First Coast area are without power as Elsa causes widespread damage.

RELATED: Tracking power outages in Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia during Tropical Storm Elsa

6:10 p.m:  We are getting video in from the tornado that tore through part of Jacksonville's Southside. This video was shot in the Baymeadows area and shows the storm moving near the intersection of Phillips Highway and Baymeadows Road.

RELATED: Major damage reported across Jacksonville as Tropical Storm Elsa spawns tornado, wind damage

6:15: David Rothermill describes the reported tornado that hit Jacksonville's Southside during the storm on Powers Ave. He lives in the Pinebrook Apartments.

6 p.m.: Flooding is being reported along McCoy's Creek near downtown Jacksonville. Some roads in the area are closed as water is quickly rising. This is an area that commonly floods during heavy rain. 

5:50 p.m.: Tornado hits Naval Base Kings Bay in St. Mary's, GA. At least 10 people received minor injuries. All others on base have been accounted for, the base said in a statement.

The tornado struck an RV Park on base and caused damage to multiple vehicles and structures at the facility.

RELATED: At least 10 injured after tornado hits Kings Bay RV Park

5:30 p.m.: All tornado warnings in Jacksonville have expired.

5:03 p.m.: NWS confirmed tornado hit parts of Northwest Jacksonville. Damage has been reported in the area.

4:56 p.m.: NWS updates tornado warning to include parts of Duval and Nassau counties. This warning is expected to expire at 5:30 p.m.

4:34 p.m.: NWS issues tornado warning for parts of Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties. The warning is expected to expire at 5 p.m.

3:34 p.m.: At least one person was killed when a tree fell on two cars on Roosevelt Boulevard. The northbound lanes of Roosevelt Blvd. are closed between Ortega Blvd. and Yacht Club Rd.

3:00 p.m.: Due to current and projected storm conditions, Columbia County is closing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Citizens Information Center (CIC), and the three shelters.

2:20 p.m.: Update: JEA has suspended power disconnections through Thursday, July 8. They will resume Friday morning, July 9. 

2:05 p.m.: Some residents in Columbia County are faced with a clean-up after Tropical Storm Elsa's winds damaged their homes. First Coast News reporter Renata Di Gregorio shares one woman's story.

2:01 p.m.: Sheltering operations at Starke Elementary School have been discontinued as of 1:30 p.m., Bradford County Emergency Management said in a Facebook post. Only self-serve sandbags are available at this time at Bradford County Fire Rescue Station 90 (Sampson City) and Station 40 (Heilbronn Springs). If you have sandbags for Elsa, you are asked to save them for future use later this hurricane season.

1:35 p.m.: Officials in Baker County are concerned about potential flooding in the Macclenny area. First Coast News reporter Kailey Tracy is at one of the spots expected to flood as rains continue from Tropical Storm Elsa.

1:16 p.m.: First Coast News' Haley Harrison is reporting heavy wind, rough waters and some splashing on the St. Johns River in the Riverside area.

1:06 p.m: Major delays on I-10 westbound with an accident at mile marker 318; then eastbound at mile marker 317 both lanes blocked with a downed tree.

1:00 p.m.: There is a large tree down blocking the eastbound lane in the 9600 block of State Road 100 near the Old Glory Feed Store outside of Starke. Crews are working to clear debris and get the road open. 

Rain continues to fall creating hazardous driving conditions. If you must be out on the road, remember your headlights, drive defensively and SLOW DOWN. "We Care"

HAPPENING NOW: There is a large tree down blocking the eastbound lane in the 9600 block of State Road 100 near the Old...

Posted by Sheriff Gordon Smith - Bradford County Sheriff on Wednesday, July 7, 2021

12:43 p.m.:There is a tree down on I-75 northbound at Mile Marker 411 in Lake City with all lanes blocked. Use caution in the area and seek an alternate route. 

12:20 p.m.: Good news for Clay County.  So far, Clay County emergency managers report no flooding issues along Black Creek.

12:15 p.m.: The impacts of Tropical Storm Elsa are being felt in Lake City. Strong winds and heavy rain are hitting the area. FCN reporter Renata Di Gregorio gives you a sneak peak below (and hopefully she gets dry soon).

11:50 a.m.: Lots of rain but not a lot of wind in metro Jacksonville right now. FCN's Robert Bradfield shot this video on Atlantic Blvd heading towards downtown.

11:33 a.m.: It may be gray outside but this man's spirits are high! Lewis Turner captured a video of this lively gentleman singing a song in San Marco as Tropical Storm Elsa makes its way across the First Coast. 

Watch here:

11:16 a.m.: The Jacksonville International Airport says to remember there could be flight delays or cancellations due to Tropical Storm Elsa. Check with your airline for the most updated information before going to the airport. It will remain open as long as flights are operational.

10:31 a.m.: The Alachua County Sheriff's Office reports a tree down across the roadway and a broken power pole in the 1300 block of Southwest Wacahoota Road.

10:25 a.m.: Crews are working to clear the tree that fell earlier across I-10's westbound lanes in Columbia County. The highway is no longer blocked.

10:13 a.m.: St. Marys River at Macclenny could be nearing moderate flood stage by Thursday morning.

9:38 a.m. - Teams in St, Augustine capture strong rain and windy conditions. Winds have started to pick up in the area. Crews say there are still people out walking around in the downtown area near the Bridge of Lions.

9:36 a.m.: - Leah met some great motorcyclists in Columbia County while covering Tropical Storm Elsa. The men are traveling all over the country in a little over a month! Next stop? Key West!  Stephen Walker, pictured here, says his biggest worry with this weather is hydroplaning.

9:17 a.m.  - Crews work to clear downed trees and power lines on State Road 47 in Columbia County.

8:36 a.m.  - There is a tree down on I-10 in Lake City near mile marker 309. Authorities are reporting that all lanes are blocked. Drivers are urged to use caution in the area and seek an alternate route.

8:15 a.m.

Governor Ron DeSantis gives an update on Tropical Storm Elsa at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

8 a.m.

Elsa has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The tropical storm is 35 miles west of Cedar Key, Florida where it is nearing landfall. Our forecast and impacts for the First Coast are unchanged. The First Coast will feel its impacts from Elsa Wednesday morning through the evening.

7:49 a.m.

Heavy rain comes pouring down on US 90 in Lake City 

6:41 a.m. 

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for parts of Northeast Florida until 7:15 a.m.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out