Tornado touches down in Palmetto South

According to the National Weather Service, a small tornado made landfall near Florida A&M University’s Palmetto South Apartments Friday around 1:30 p.m.

Students held their camera phones in the wet weather, taking pictures of a blue Honda as it sat on top of a tan Chrysler.

FAMU Police quickly drove up to the scene and warned the crowd of students to go inside because the tornado watch was still in effect.

Witnesses gazed at the two damaged vehicles and left, still recalling how the surprising incident occurred.

“I saw the tornado coming and I heard when it hit the cars,” said Chazmen Geames, a sophomore physical education student from Rochester, NY.

Geames, 20, said after the tornado hit the cars, it went over the volleyball net and headed toward Adams Street.

Geames said he was intrigued by the tornado because they don’t have them in New York. “It came over the buildings and I saw a dark shadow that began to twist,” Richard Mitchell said.

Mitchell, who works for maintenance in the FAMU Housing Department, was near the Palmetto North Apartments when he saw the tornado.

Although many might have been shocked to see a tornado, they were not as stunned as Eddie Turner.

Turner, 20, the owner of the tan Chrysler, was in his apartment with his roommates when a student came to tell him that his car had been damaged.

“I filled out a police report and I have to pay for the damages,” said the sophomore criminal justice student from Alabama.

Turner said his Chrysler was just left there after the Honda was taken away, and his family came to get it towed. He was frustrated that the owner of the blue Honda had not been located.

Turner said he was also frustrated with the fact that he had to spend his own money for the repairs because neither the school nor his insurance would cover it.

Turner also said he was upset that the car that was lifted on top of his car seemed to be sitting in the same spot for days.

This incident may lead many students to start considering whether the auto insurance they have will cover natural disasters.

Some students also wondered if their auto insurance does cover natural disasters, how much would they have to pay out of the pocket for damages.

“I’m with Geico,” said Larry Calhoun, 18, an engineering student from Tallahassee. “It’s vital to know what your car insurance covers.”

Calhoun said students should know about their insurance policy and read it at least one time.

Calhoun said he thinks that the tornado situation may have been easier to handle if the owner knew his options ahead of time.

State Farm Insurance Agency requires its customers to pay a deductible for natural disasters.

A deductible is the portion of a covered loss that is your responsibility.

Geico Insurance Company also states that they offer coverage for disasters but at a price.

The FAMU Police Department is still investigating the incident and none of the housing directors were available for comment.

Many of the insurance representatives were unavailable for comment.

Contact Sarah Chester at