Tropical Storm Néstor, recently formed in the Gulf of Mexico, hit on Saturday part of the southern coast of the US with strong winds, swells and heavy rains threatening an area of northwest Florida devastated a year ago by Hurricane Michael. The storm was later degraded to post-tropical cyclone. He damaged homes and a school in the center of the state, but left the northwestern part free.
Several houses were damaged and part of the roof of Kathleen High School flew off when the tornado hit Friday afternoon near Lakeland, about an hour's drive away from southwest Orlando, the Polk County Police Department reported.
In photographs published by The Ledger newspaper, there was a house with a destroyed roof, collapsed trees, a large recreational vehicle on one side and other vehicles buried under the rubble. Some 10,000 homes were without power this Saturday.RELATED
"Luckily, we haven't had reports of serious injuries," agent Grady Judd said in a statement on Saturday. "However, there are many people who deal with damage to their homes and property this morning, some of them serious."
The storm made landfall on Saturday on the island of San Vicente, a nature reserve off the north coast of the Gulf of Florida in a sparsely populated area of the state, the National Hurricane Center said. It caused at least three tornadoes in Florida.
In Mexico Beach, where the powerful October 2018 storm swept through the town almost completely and left thousands homeless, the mayor said Nestor caused a much-needed rain in the state that is going through a drought, but there was no damage.
"There have been no problems," said Mayor Al Cathey, whose city is still recovering from last year's devastation. Saturday morning, the sky was painted blue. "I would say we are lucky," he added.
Unlike Michael, a powerful storm that left thousands of people homeless and almost erased the city of Mexico Beach from the map, Florida was not preparing for a catastrophe on Friday, the Associated Press news agency reported. .
"We have only prepared very little, because there really is nothing to prepare for," the mayor of Mexico City, Al Cathey, told the news agency. "We have not been alarmed at all."
As of Friday night, the State had activated its emergency operations center, but only at its lowest level. In an area that recently spent weeks without rain, the storm is expected rather with a welcoming attitude.
"You have to keep the perspective: 75% of our city was destroyed," Cathey said. "A little rain is welcome. I hope it is not something crazy, but if that is all, I can deal with that. There is nothing I have seen in this storm that makes me think that Mexico Beach needs to be alarmed."
The NHC said there were to be expected strong winds and dangerous storms in parts of the northern Gulf coast, in addition to heavy rains that could help the region cope with drought, strong wind gusts and some tornadoes in the northern part and Central Florida, as well as in coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas.
Given these forecasts, the events planned in the Mexico Beach area, including high school football matches, were canceled or postponed, but officials tried to calm the fears of a strong blow similar to that of Hurricane Michael last year.
After passing through Florida, Nestor ran through Georgia on Saturday night as a post-tropical cyclone. The remains of the storm caused heavy rains, and local media reported fallen trees and power lines out of use.
The cyclone continues to point to the Atlantic Ocean passing through the southeastern US.
Hurricane Michael leaves only left ruins where he passed