16 years since Groundhog Day Tornado

16 years since Groundhog Day Tornado

Jason Healy, Staff Writer

Today, Thursday January 2nd marks 16 years since Florida’s Deadly Tornado leaving 21 dead in Central Florida.

On January 2, 2007 A total of 3 tornadoes came into contact with three counties in Central Florida, The tornado came into contact just hours before sunrise meaning many were asleep, there was no way someone could tell there was a tornado unless they were told or previously warned. The first tornado touched at precisely 3:08 am, the first tornado lasted nearly 20 minutes with winds traveling a good 160 mph and nearly 17 miles before lifting into a nearby lake, the first tornado left 8 dead.

About 12 minutes after came the second tornado. The second tornado, rated an EF-3 and touched down west of Lake Norris and traveling 26 miles, that was 26 miles of winds going 160-165 mph that in total lasted 33 minutes! Over 300 houses were destroyed unfortunately leaving 13 dead.

About 12 minutes after the second tornado had left came the third tornado. The third tornado touched down in Smyrna Beach, the winds had picked up to about 105 mph and traveled a total of 3 miles in 3 minutes, fortunately no lives were lost but a total of 25 homes were destroyed.