Friday April 19th 2019
Today’s weather was very entertaining, but not very enjoyable. The day started with very filtered sunshine and plenty of wind. It wasn’t long before it started to get very gusty. While I was outside my RV home I heard a large dead branch snap in a tree a couple of hundred feet away. It fell on a power line leading to a cottage. The line didn’t snap but they had to call the utility company to get it removed. That was just the beginning.
Shortly before eleven the forecast severe weather started to move into the area. A severe thunderstorm warning for the entire Northeast Florida and Eastern Georgia area was issued by the National Weather Service. The TV stations started continuous storm coverage as the front moved into the viewing area from the west. They were reporting winds as high as seventy to eighty miles per hour. Tornado warnings were issued for areas west of Jacksonville with some reports of damage. As the storm front moved east the warnings and high wind reports moved closer to my location.
I started to make preparations for the arrival of the storm. The most susceptible items to wind damage are the slide out room awnings and the satellite dish. I put the dish down into its travel position and got the inside ready to bring the slide out rooms in. I held out hope that the storm would weaken as it moved east. Just before noon the TV announced another tornado warning. This time it was for my area. At about the same time my cell phone went off with a tornado alert. I brought the two slide rooms in, locked the RV door and walked over to the campground bathroom facility. I don’t think it would qualify as a good shelter in the case of a strong tornado, but it was better than the RV. Several other park residents including a few of the work campers with two very scared dogs also took shelter in the bathhouse.
The storm passed about a mile to the north. A funnel cloud was reported in the air along Interstate 95. There was damage to a furniture store building and several cars in that area, but it was caused by strait line winds. It didn’t get very bad in the campground. Most of the wind was high in the trees. A few small branches and lots of pine cones came down. It was just an ordinary rain storm fifteen minutes after it started.
The rain continued until about three in the afternoon. The sun even made an attempt to brighten up the area. The actual front passed through the area around six with a little more rain and some wind. All is calm this evening.