PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A sudden tornado spawned by fast-moving storms hit three Florida mobile home communities, damaging 163 homes including seven considered a total loss, officials said.
There was just one minor injury from cut glass, the Port Orange Fire Department reported. Eight homes had major damage and 26 had moderate damage from the Friday night twister.
"I was taking my little dog out when it hit," Sharon Bigger told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "Then, the roof was in the tree."
Mike Blancato was sitting with his wife on their porch when they saw debris swirl past.
"It was like the movie 'Twister,"' Mike Blancato said. "You couldn't tell what direction it was coming from or where it was headed."
A funnel cloud moved onshore and touched down briefly in Ormond Beach and destroyed a catamaran, the Volusia County Beach Patrol reported.
"It was an intense little system," Beach Patrol Capt. Scott Petersohn said. "It just came onto the beach and trashed a little catamaran and left."
The storm popped up quickly to the north earlier in the evening, the National Weather Service in Melbourne reported. It was caused by a "sea-breeze merger" when winds coming off both coasts met and caused the storm's rotation.
While bad weather hit the entire area Friday, meteorologists identified only one true tornado, which hit Port Orange around 6:30 p.m. The city is located just south of Daytona Beach.
"It was one complex of storm cells that moved from Flagler County down through Dayton Beach and down toward Cape Canaveral," meteorologist Bob Wimmer said, "Fortunately, this just had one instance where it touched down and then lifted back up."