Tropical Storm Nestor Hits Florida With Tornados, Flooding
FLORIDA—October 21, 2019—Tropical Storm Nestor, the Atlantic hurricane season’s 14th named storm, developed last week in the Gulf of Mexico. On Friday, Nestor charged toward the Florida panhandle with 60 mph winds, but the storm weakened as it approached land. Nestor made landfall Saturday afternoon on St. Vincent Island, Florida as a post-tropical cyclone with winds of 45 mph, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Although Nestor’s sustained winds dropped significantly before landfall, the storm still did plenty of damage throughout Florida with storm surge, heavy rain, and a string of tornados with winds topping 100 mph in some cases. The New York Times reported one tornado damaged a mobile home park in Seminole, Florida, and another with winds up to 120 mph touched down first in Hillsborough County before crossing into Polk county and damaging at least 50 homes and businesses, including tearing the roof off a middle school. A third tornado damaged at least a dozen homes in Lee County. In addition to impacting homes and businesses, the tornados downed power lines, overturned vehicles, and uprooted trees.
Tropical Storm Nestor also produced heavy rains of two to four inches with isolated higher totals across the southeastern U.S., causing some flash flooding and flooded roads, according to The New York Times. As the storm made its way inland, forecasters warned that the Florida Gulf Coast could see storm surge up to four feet. Tracking northeast over Florida, remnants of the storm lashed Georgia and the Carolinas through the weekend with heavy rain and winds before moving out to sea late Sunday.