Tornado touchdown confirmed in Seminole County

The National Weather Service on Friday confirmed that a tornado touched down in Seminole County on Thursday morning. 

The tornado was measured at the weakest level of intensity on the Enhanced Fujita scale, as an EF0, and was on the ground for less than a half-a-mile stretch.  It did manage to tear apart the roof of a building supply store in Sanford. 

The storm was part of the same system that delivered damage to parts of Lake County.  The NWS has determined that destruction near Groveland was not the result of a tornado, but rather, officials said it was caused by straight line winds, which can be just as damaging as a tornado. 

Retired pastor James Madison said he and his wife were sleeping when the storm struck.  Their home was lifted up off of its foundation and carried several feet away, crashing into a tree.  Windows shattered and entire walls were blown out.

"It threw my wife out of bed,” he said. 

The NWS surveyed the nearly three-mile path of destruction and said it was all from severe straight line winds.

“The home itself was elevated a little bit, the wind can get underneath homes like that,” said Scott Spratt, a NWS meteorologist. “That does indicate that the winds were 85 to 95 miles per hour.”

"The lord was with us,” Madison said. “Lord blessed us!”

Lucky to be alive, the cleanup is underway for Madison and his wife, who are now staying with family.