Nestor made landfall on St. Vincent Island, Fla., as a post-tropical cyclone Saturday afternoon and reports of tornado damage in the state have already emerged, according to the National Hurricane Center and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The former tropical storm has caused at least three tornadoes in Florida, the Associated Press reported.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Facebook that a tornado touched down in the western and northwestern parts of the county late Friday night, causing damage to homes and property, “some of it severe.” There were reports of downed power lines and trees but no serious injuries had been reported as a result of the tornado, the statement said. A large chunk of Kathleen Middle School’s roof was torn off when the tornado hit late Friday, according to the AP.
The post-tropical cyclone’s “strong gusty winds” are still affecting the Gulf Coast along the eastern Florida panhandle, the NHC stated. The agency says the storm could cause tornadoes Saturday over east-central Florida, along the Georgia coast and into the Carolinas.
After hitting Florida, the storm is projected to “move offshore of the coast of North Carolina into the western Atlantic by late Sunday” as a post-tropical cyclone, according to the NHC.
Nestor is currently about 5 miles west-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla., according to a 1 p.m. forecast from the center. It’s moving east-northeast at 23 mph, with maximum sustained winds at 45 mph. Forecasters do not expect the storm to strengthen before Nestor moves further inland later on Saturday afternoon.
The post-tropical storm has created “beach hazards along the Gulf Coast,” including rip currents and coastal flooding.
Tropical storm warnings have been posted from Ochlockonee River to Suwanee River, Fla., and has been discontinued west of Ochlockonee River and south of Suwanee River. “Isolated flash flooding” could occur across the southeastern U.S. into Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center states.
The storm is expected to dump a total of two to four inches of rainfall this weekend across parts of the U.S., with some isolated areas receiving up to eight inches.
All storm surge warnings have been discontinued.
Florida Gov. DeSantis tweeted on Thursday that the government is monitoring the storm and that residents should prepare for possible flooding and power disruptions.
Friday night high school football games from Alabama to the Florida panhandle had been canceled or postponed in preparation of the storm, according to the AP.
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