The National Weather Service reported Monday that it believed straight-line winds from strong thunderstorm activity was responsible for widespread storm damage that ravaged portions of central Florida on Sunday. The storm activity did not spawn any tornadoes in Florida but rather produced significant straight-line winds that were strong enough to take down cypress trees that have stood for over 100 years. Winds were clocked at over 85 miles per hour in Orange and Brevard counties where several local neighborhoods were left to deal with massive cleanup on Monday. The winds knocked limbs and entire trees onto vehicles and it took down numerous powerlines, putting thousands of people in the dark across central Florida. Some homeowners reported that windows were blown out of their homes from the winds and that their houses were “shaking” during the worst of the storm activity. A pilot attempting to land at a local airport in Titusville, FL reported that his plane was flipped over as he was taxiing to a hangar. A witness at the airport said that he could not see the plan land because the rain was so heavy.
In Cape Canaveral, not only did many homes and businesses sustain damage from winds but flooding was also a problem. Over two inches of rainwater flooded an apartment building in that city. Hail the size of quarters fell in Cape Canaveral Sunday as winds gusting up to 65 miles per hour blew in the down pouring rain, causing widespread damage and making travel hazardous and impossible in some areas as tree limbs and even entire trees fell, blocking roadways. In all, about 7,000 people in Brevard County were without lights Sunday due to the stormy weather.
The severe weather that pummeled central Florida also hit the northern portion of Georgia. The National Weather Service had issued severe thunderstorm warnings for a many Georgia counties and say that the severe weather brought driving rains, hail and strong winds with it. There were tornado warnings in effect for portions of north Georgia including the Atlanta metro area but luckily no twisters formed.
Now is the time of year when home owners should turn their attention to their roofs. Signs of wind damage to look for are missing and lifted shingles. If left un-repaired, missing, lifted shingles can lead to widespread roof damage that can cause rainwater to seep into attics, crawlspaces and walls. And if not discovered in time, these damp areas provide the ideal breeding grounds for devastating mold to take hold and spread.