By Thursday evening, Tropical Storm Andrea had passed through Gulfport, downing some trees, cutting power to some residents, and putting Gulfport in the national spotlight.
Thursday morning a tornadic waterspout came ashore in Gulfport. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the waterspout made landfall at 10:03 and dissipated by 10:05. Once on land, it became a tornado, moving from Boca Ciega Bay to the intersection of Clinton Street and Shore Boulevard. It moved up Beach Boulevard, pushing the large cedar tree in front of Yummy’s into the restaurant’s roof. NOAA estimates peak winds at 60 MPH and lists the path as no more than 50 yards at its widest. NOAA classified the tornado as an EF-0, the least destructive class of tornado.
Clymer Park had downed limbs and branches, and the Minkoff property at the northwestern edge of Clymer Park lost a large oak tree. NOAA reports that 12 Gulfport homes had damage to “facia, shingles, awnings and fences.”
As for Tropical Storm Andrea, which spurned the waterspout-turned-tornado, Gulfport escaped with minimal damage. Shore Boulevard did have some flooding, although the city has no reports of water inside any building. City officials did close parts of Shore Boulevard until flood waters receded.
“PSTA did have to reroute, but once we opened the street back up, everything was back to normal,” the city’s Technical Events Specialist Justin Shea said.
Gulfport reported no injuries or deaths related to this storm.