Storm brings hail, strong winds to Brevard

A severe storm system that brought destructive tornadoes with it killed at least 19 people during the weekend as it moved south from Georgia and Mississippi into the Florida Panhandle. Brevard County experienced that same weather system Sunday night.

“The lightning storm was crazy and pretty scary,” sophomore Kevin Barr said. “I had never seen anything like it before. It was just constant white flashes of a bunch of lightning every couple seconds.”

The storm swept across all of Florida and caused huge lightning storms, rain, hail and some funnel clouds — including one in the Lake Washington area — but no real tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, Melbourne experienced 42 mph sustained winds and 600 lightning strikes. Approximately 2,700 homes lost electricity at some point during the storm.

In all, 50 tornadoes were reported across the South since Thursday as four separate waves of severe weather wrought havoc.

“I was in Georgia over Winter Break and in the area where some of the tornadoes touched down,” junior Hunter Tipton said.

At least 15 people were killed in Georgia during the severe weather Saturday and Sunday. Four more died in southern Mississippi on Saturday when a tornado smashed buildings in the Hattiesburg area.

By Derek Dolnik