Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Microburst damages Embry-Riddle, Daytona Beach, Florida neighborhoods

DAYTONA BEACH --  A microburst with winds of at least 50 miles per hours caused damaged throughout Daytona Beach Monday afternoon.

According to Meteorologist Ali Turiano, a microburst is a localized downdraft (sinking air) in a thunderstorm. The air (downdraft) moves out of the storm toward the ground, it then spreads outward in all directions. Microbursts can cause damage. They can be as comparable, and in some cases, worse than tornadoes.

Students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, who are studying meteorology, said the storm was brief but intense, knocking down trees and blowing out windows on campus buildings. The student center and Aviation Maintenance Sciences buildings were among those that had damage.

"For a while we thought the glass was going to blow out so we stayed inside as the microburst passed about 6:35 p.m.," said graduate student Brett Dean. "When we went on the roof to try and survey some of the damage their was an aircraft flipped over on the runway.”

Among the damage, according to Daytona Beach, were trees that fell onto structures, damaging them.

At least one small plane flipped over because of wind gusts. A Cessna-172 plane flipped on the Daytona Beach International Airport runway.

According to the National Weather Service, the plane was taxiing at the time. The two Embry Riddle students inside were not injured. The plane did sustain damage.

"I was in one of our fuel trucks, fueling aircraft at the time, and I ran back when the wind started going," said witness Tim Jury. "It was extremely fast and I just could not see anything outside the window. Completely covered in water."

Daytona Beach Fire Rescue officials also said several trees fell onto structures, damaging them.

Power was knocked out to areas around Nova Road and Orange Avenue. However, Florida Power and Light crews were able to restore power to customers.

Viewers also sent in pictures of downed trees and tree limbs behind the Best Buy on International Speedway Boulevard. A viewer also said there were downed trees on South Seneca Boulevard.