A powerful tornado and severe thunderstorms wreaked havoc in Escambia County on Thursday night, tragically claiming the life of one individual, Your Content has learned.
Emergency services, including Escambia County Fire Rescue and the Emergency Medical Service, rushed to the scene on Coker Lane in response to distress calls.
Tragically, a person was found trapped beneath a fallen tree that had struck their home during the storm. Escambia County spokesperson Andie Gibson confirmed the person’s unfortunate demise.
Multiple reports of storm damage and power outages flooded the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, particularly in the vicinity of News Warrington Road and Jackson Street.
However, as of approximately 10 p.m., no injuries had been reported. To ensure their safety, deputies adopted a “shelter in place” approach during the severe weather.
Once conditions improved, they planned to respond to major calls and assess the extent of the damage.
As the clock struck 8 p.m., robust thunderstorms surged through the region, accompanied by a tornado warning.
The National Weather Service later confirmed the presence of a tornado on the ground, initially west of Gulf Breeze, which then traversed Santa Rosa Island before reaching the western edge of Pensacola Beach.
During the tempest, a house fire erupted on East Galvez Court in Pensacola Beach, which firefighters managed to bring under control by 9:40 p.m.
The full extent of the damage remains uncertain at this time, according to Gibson.
By 10:30 p.m., the National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, issued a warning regarding the escalating risk of flash flooding.
Twitter updates from the agency advised caution, as storms persisted over Warrington, West Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, and Pensacola Beach. Rainfall had already exceeded 5 inches in certain areas, prompting the plea for residents to avoid traveling on roads throughout Southern Pensacola.
According to Florida Power and Light’s real-time power tracker map, approximately 8,200 customers in Escambia County and 180 customers in Santa Rosa County experienced power outages as of 8:35 p.m.
Outages were predominantly concentrated in West Pensacola, specifically within the Warrington and Brownsville communities.
In Santa Rosa County, power disruptions were scattered, affecting pockets of customers in Gulf Breeze, Navarre, and East Milton, according Pensacola News.