QUINCY – Sunday night at 7:44 p.m., the National Weather Service released an area-wide Emergency Alert for Tallahassee, Quincy and Midway. “Tornado Warning in this area til 8:15 pm EST. Take shelter now. Check local media. – NWS.” There was also the possibility of penny-sized hail, to an area with a population of almost 300,000.
Almost simultaneously, the echoes of a loud siren cried out through the tumultuous thunder and lightning, confirming the importance of the prior alert.
Eleven minutes later, the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado had touched down south of Quincy and was moving east-southeast toward Midway.
In the aftermath of the storm, homeowners off of Jim Williams Road in Quincy in Gadsden County – the only county in Florida with a majority African American population – took in the damage to their homes.
Gadsden County’s Public Works Department, responsible for maintaining the over 700 miles of roads, were among those deployed to help clear out the damaged area after the storm.
In a public information statement, the National Weather Service in Tallahassee released information of the EF-3 classified tornado in surrounding counties. In an EF-3 tornado, winds are classified as “strong,” ranging from 136 to 165 mph.
One homeowner described how her family took cover in their dining room as the storm alerts went off the night before. As the family walked through the halls of their home and front yard, they understood the severity of the previous night’s tornado.
A look inside