Soaking rains and gusty winds are in the forecast Sunday from the Carolinas up through the mid-Atlantic as the remnants of Tropical Storm Nestor move across the region after the storm triggered tornadoes across Florida that damaged homes and ripped the roof off a school.
The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center said that “locally heavy rainfall” and some severe thunderstorms are possible from eastern North Carolina up through the mid-Atlantic as the storm moves across the region.
Showers and “locally heavy rain” are forecast to linger throughout Sunday until the storm moves offshore, but is not expected to lead to any major flooding.
FLORIDA BATTERED BY NESTOR’S HIGH WINDS; TORNADO LEAVES THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER, MIDDLE SCHOOL DAMAGED
The National Hurricane Center said the storm made landfall Saturday on the lightly-populated St. Vincent Island, a nature preserve off Florida’s northern Gulf Coast. While tropical and storm surge warnings were all canceled by Saturday afternoon, the storm brought the threat of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms across the Southeast.
Waves crash on Mexico Beach, Fla. after Tropical Storm Nestor hit the town on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.
(Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)
In Mexico Beach, Fla., where Hurricane Michael nearly wiped out the town in October 2018 and left thousands homeless, the mayor told the Associated Press that Nestor brought some needed rain to a portion of the state suffering from drought. But there was no damage there.
“There have been no issues,” said Mayor Al Cathey, whose city is still recovering from Michael. “I would call us fortunate.”
Chris Anderson ties down building materials and other objects from his lawn as Tropical Storm Nestor approached Mexico Beach, Fla..
(Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)
Nestor is linked to at least three tornadoes in Florida as it moved onshore, including one twister that had 120 mph winds that tossed a camper on top of a home in Kathleen, Fla., and had a defined “debris ball” on radar.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook a tornado that touched down late Friday caused a large section of roof to be torn off Kathleen Middle School, and several homes were damaged.
“Thankfully, we have not had any reported serious injuries related to the “long track” tornado that touched down in our unincorporated areas in northwest Polk County last night,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement Saturday. “However, there are many people dealing with damage to their homes and property this morning — some of it severe. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and if there is anything you can do to help your friends and neighbors, do it.”
Damage at Kathleen Middle School can be seen after a tornado spawned by Tropical Storm Nestor impacted Florida late Friday.
(Polk County Sheriff’s Office)
Besides the tornado damage, officials also responded to several trucks that overturned due to high winds.
Winds also toppled trucks along Interstate 4 and the Polk Parkway late Friday. One tractor-trailer was flipped onto a car carrying a family from Illinois, but the Florida Highway Patrol told FOX35 that no one was hurt. The driver of a second toppled truck, however, had to be taken to the hospital.
TROPICAL STORM NESTOR FORMS, THREATENING US GULF COAST
Another suspected tornado in southwest Florida damaged at least a dozen homes in Cape Coral, some severely, the police department said in a statement. No injuries were reported.
Another tornado was reported in Pinellas County, producing minor damage at a mobile home park.
As the storm moved through Georgia on Saturday, the National Weather Service issued two tornado warnings for southern parts of the state.
Radar indicated possible tornados separately in areas around Rhine and Vienna, Ga., but there was no immediate confirmation of any tornadoes and no injuries or damages were reported.
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Some downed trees and power lines were reported in metro Atlanta as heavy rains spread across Georgia. Nestor’s rain were expected to be beneficial for the northern part of the state due to an ongoing extreme drought, according to FOX5 Atlanta.
Conditions are forecast to improve by Monday, as the remains of Nestor move quickly off the coast out into the Atlantic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.