The other morning Cindy and I were lying in bed just talking as it was only 6 a.m. As we laid there chatting, we were commenting on the wind and the rain. It had been raining off and on throughout the night, and it had just picked up again, but this time it was coming down pretty hard.
I grabbed the iPad from the nightstand to check the weather radar and pointed out that we had a line of clouds coming towards us that was all red. We both commented that it was going to get interesting in a few minutes. We need the rain since it’s been months since we’ve really gotten any substantial rains to add to the water table.
Cindy and I were watching the trees blow when it started thundering pretty heavy. The room was lighting up with flashes of lightning and rain was coming down in a solid wall at this point. All of a sudden, every tree in the yard blew sideways for a few seconds only to turn 180 degrees and blow the opposite direction for a few seconds more.
We both let out a few ‘ohh’s‘ and ‘ahh’s‘ as the lightning bolts struck the ground close by and the skies opened up with all their fury. Luca went running under the covers to hide and Little barked at the thunder like she was going to attack it. Cindy commented that this storm was stronger than Tropical Storm Debby that did so much damage downtown last June. Our power flickered a few times but never went out for longer than a few seconds.
A few minutes later, my phone rang. Heath told me to grab the camera gear and get downtown as soon as possible. He told me there were power lines down and sparking all over town. Too many trees were down to count and the double-decker dock behind the Gulf Side Motel had blown over and was floating in the Gulf of Mexico.
Cindy and I threw some clothes on, grabbed the camera gear and jumped in the truck. Cindy drove so I could put the camera into the ThinkTank Waterproof Cover since it was still pouring rain as we headed downtown.
Cedar Key Microburst
Link to a video someone shot of the storm blowing through.
You can see what I was talking about on how hard the trees are blowing
Just past the #3 Bridge, we could start to see the tree limbs on the ground. Mermaids Landing Motel had a huge Cedar Tree that had fallen in their courtyard and was lying on one of their cottages. The fire department had the road blocked off in front of the Market due to power lines being down and lying in the road. Power Company Crews were already working on the lines which was amazing to me. This storm had literally happened a mere minutes before, and there was already a bucket truck working on the power pole where the transformer had been struck by lightning.
We drove around town looking at the carnage this micro burst had caused in such a short time. City workers were already wielding chain saws clearing up trees that were down all over town.
Not wanting to get in anyone’s way and realizing that we left the motel without even checking the grounds to see if we had damage, we headed back to the Low-Key Hideaway.
Luckily we were spared this time and the only damage we had was an outdoor glass table that had been lifted up and landed atop one of the chairs that shattered the glass top. We had brought the boat into Williston Marine Metals to have our Chart Plotter installed and we were both glad we did. All the boats down in the Cedar Key Marina had their tops tore off and not just the fabric, the aluminum uprights were just bent right in half.
Right where our boat normally sits on the side of our dock, one of the heavy Adirondack chairs was sitting in the water having been blown off the dock. If we would have had the boat tied up there, the chair would have fallen right through our new top. I guess some things happen for a reason.