A wave of thunderstorms that ripped across the Southeast U.S. crashed on the Golden Isles with violent force Friday.
The most destructive blow to land in Glynn County happened on the F.J. Torras Causeway, where a semitrailer was overturned by strong winds around 12:30 p.m. as the storms moved through the area. The semitrailer was draped over the barrier separating those coming onto and going from St. Simons Island near the Back River Bridge. The crash blocked both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane.
It brought traffic to a standstill on the usually busy causeway that is the only connection between Brunswick and St. Simons Island.
According to the Glynn County Police Department’s Facebook page, one lane of traffic was opened in each direction at 3:30 p.m.
By 5:09 p.m., the accident had been cleared up.
Glynn County spokesman Matthew Kent said no one was seriously injured in the crash.
The storm also hit other parts of the county. People on social media shared photos of what appeared to be a funnel cloud near the Walmart at 150 Altama Connector in Glynn County.
The National Weather Service in Jacksonville reported no tornadoes touching down, meteorologist Jason Hess said. However, the service’s weather station at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport recorded a wind gust of 52 mph at 12:39 p.m., he said. The fast-moving storm dropped just under half an inch of rain, Hess said.
Kent said that while there were several reports of funnel clouds sited throughout the Isles, county officials could not confirm any touching down.
A tornado warning was issued for Glynn County shortly after 12 p.m. Rod Ellis, Schools Police Chief, said students were placed in the designated shelter locations in each school as a precaution beginning around 12:30 p.m.
Elsewhere in the county, strong winds from the storm downed power lines and trees, according to 911 scanner traffic. There was also reports of minor damage at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick.