County ‘accessing everything’ after EF2 tornado hits area
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
On Aug. 18, the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF2 tornado had touched down in DeLand around 4 p.m. on Aug. 18.
The storm damaged homes and buildings, including businesses, left debris, flipped over some cars, and left many in DeLand and surrounding areas without power for an extended period of time.
The Volusia County Emergency Management Services held a press conference in County Meeting Chambers in DeLand Wednesday afternoon to address the damage.
The storm did considerable damage in DeLand city limits and in some unincorporated areas, said Volusia County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge.
“We were able to respond quickly with our emergency response crews,’’ he said.
At least 28 structures received some type of damage.
“We are still accessing everything. We hope to soon have all the estimates,’’ Judge related.
The county later reported that unincorporated areas had 82 properties that had been damaged.
Volusia’s property appraiser’s Office estimated that there was about $3 million worth of damage in unincorporated Volusia County from the tornado.
Duke energy reported that 8,600 customers in the DeLand area was without power on Tuesday night but expected to have all power restored by 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The county reported that 11,000 homes and business had their power knocked out but by 2 p.m.on Wednesday that power had been restored to all but 1,000 homes and businesses.
It was also reported that one person was treated for injuries and one was assisted with shelter.
The tornado that hit the area was 550 miles at its widest. It traveled east to northeast for 4.6 miles.
As an EF2 tornado, its wind speeds ranged between 111 to 135 miles per hour. Authorities say its wind speed was between 105 to 115 miles per hour when it came through DeLand.
Several charitable organizations are in the area to assist residents, including the American Red Cross.
“Anyone looking to volunteer should get with these agencies and do so,” Judge added.