Funnel clouds and flooding in Franklin County

Chandler Lashley of Eastpoint takes advantage of storm water with a little recreational boating on T

Chandler Lashley of Eastpoint takes advantage of storm water with a little recreational boating on Tuesday afternoon.Lois Sw

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM.


A line of severe storms passed through Franklin County on Monday but little damage was reported.

After a gloomy weekend, Monday morning dawned here with blustery winds, gray clouds and pea soup fog, then, around lunchtime, Mother Nature sent some seriously bad weather our way.

At one downtown eatery, customers moved away from windows as quarter sized hail pelted the dining room. At Papa Joes, staff evacuated the porch when a tornado warning was broadcast on Oyster Radio.

Tim Barry, a forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Authority (NOAA) said the first cyclonic activity was a water spout reported near “Thirteen Mile” at around 12:30 p.m. He said an eye witness account, corroborated by a radar signature, was phoned in to NOAA.

St. George Island residents reported seeing two waterspouts near the causeway at about the same time but Barry said there was no radar signature associated with that event. Pandora Schlitt said she was driving across the St. George Island Bridge between 1:30 and 2 p.m. when she saw something snake down from the clouds to the water to the east. “I guess that was a water spout,” she said. “I really don’t know what one looks like.”

At about 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, cyclonic activity was observed on NOAA radar near the Apalachicola Regional Airport. Around the same time, numerous Apalachicola residents reported hearing the characteristic droning wind associated with a tornado.  High winds are reported to have knocked down trees, damaged roofs and destroyed part of a fence in Highland Park.

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