Rains, high wind gusts usher in cooler weather

A student walks under his umbrella along Museum Drive in Gainesville in the rain on Tuesday.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 8:17 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 4:58 p.m.

All sorts of advisories — severe thunderstorm, tornado, lake wind — were issued Tuesday as a wave of rough weather rolled through the region but ultimately all it brought was rain, powerful wind gusts and a bit of a mess.

With its passage will come cold temperatures through next week, especially over the weekend after another front blows through.

Trees and power lines fell in Alachua and neighboring counties while gusty conditions in Cedar Key caused some damage to docks and boats.

Levy County Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson said wind gusts were clocked at 74 and 94 mph by the National Weather Service.

“Levy County took some damage in Cedar Key. It’s minimal damage,” Johnson said. “There are lots of limbs and power lines. No flooding. The power is still on. That’s the miracle of it.”

Alachua County sheriff’s spokesman Art Forgey reported more of the same — minus damage to docks and boats.

“We’ve seen wires down and trees down and more traffic accidents — definitely an increase in all of that,” Forgey said. “Nothing major — just a tree down here and there or a wire down here and there, but nothing of widespread significance.”

Phil Peterson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, said the front brought some rain with the bluster.

About a half-inch fell in Gainesville from midnight to midnight on Monday and another half-inch from midnight through Tuesday morning when the system cleared out.

While this front that came through Tuesday will cool things off, another front will make it downright freezing over the weekend.

“Sunday morning is where we are going with a light freeze with a low temperature of 29 degrees in the morning for Gainesville,” Peterson said. “The normal low is 47, so that is almost 20 degrees lower than the normal low for that day.”

Peterson said the weather service got no reports of severe damage in North Central Florida except for a tree falling on a house in Lake City.

Columbia County sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Seifert said several trees were knocked down but added that no injuries were reported. Some roads were blocked for a short time while crews cleared the trees, he added.

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