Update: The National Weather Service in Melbourne confirmed Tuesday that a small tornado touched down in the Midway Estates mobile home park the prior evening. No injuries were reported after the tornado peeled off roofs to homes, split a utility pole in half and sent debris flying into the air.
“Damage was first noted near the entrance to the Midway Estates community when the tornado touched down at approximately 6:41 p.m. near the intersection of Douglas and Debra Lanes. Indian River Emergency Management documented 16 homes with at least some damage, with more substantial damage noted toward the southeast corner of the community,” National Weather Service officials said in a report.
“Most of these homes suffered at least some damage to their metal roofs, awnings, siding, and skirting. Several carport and porch awnings were torn away from homes and lofted into neighboring yards, and a portion of one home’s roof was lost into the neighboring woods.”
The tornado traveled on the ground about half-a-mile with an estimated 75-to-85 mph winds, National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Kelly said. The tornado spread at least 100 yards and dissipated as it crossed into the Vero Shores residential community, forecasters said.
“The tornado continued into the Vero Shores residential community where damage was noted to large oak trees and several boat lift awnings. Notably, a carport overhang from a home in neighboring Midway Estates landed in a resident’s driveway at the corner of 5th Court Southeast,” forecasters said. “The tornado lifted at approximately 6:45 p.m. near the intersection of 5th Court Southeast and 22nd Street Southeast.”
Weather officials issued out two tornado warnings Monday evening warning residents of the windstorm.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — No injuries were reported after a tornado touched down and damaged several homes in Midway Estates mobile home park late Monday, deputies said. The tornado developed as heavy showers spread in the afternoon throughout the county.
“The tornado damage was very notable in the neighborhood. Many homes had broken windows, aluminum enclosures shredded, and debris scattered everywhere,” Indian River County sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Joe Abollo said. “There was a utility pole split in half with downed wires and a home with half of its roof peeled off.”
The tornado – not yet confirmed by the National Weather Service in Melbourne – swooped down about 7 p.m. in the community near the 400 block of 23rd Street Southeast, sheriff’s officials said. Meteorologists issued two tornado warnings for Indian River County on Monday evening, according to weather officials.
The first warning went into effect at 6:39 p.m. and expired at 7:15 p.m., forecasters said. The second warning began at 8:01 p.m., but was canceled at 8:16 p.m.
Deputies put out an alert on social media in the evening warning the public of the tornado touchdown.
“Please refrain from the area due to downed power lines on the southeast side of Midway Estates,” sheriff’s officials said in the post.
Indian River County Fire Rescue crews were at the scene assessing damages. Red Cross South Florida Region also responded to the area.
Weather officials said they will complete a storm survey Tuesday at Midway Estates and surrounding areas.
The Vero Beach area received 0.86 inches of rainfall Monday evening, National Weather Service in Melbourne Meteorologist Kole Fehling said. The showers left some roadways, including U.S. 1, briefly flooded.
Photos provided by Indian River County Sheriff’s Office