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Arlington neighborhood recovering from tornado strike

7:28 PM, Aug 12, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The cleanup effort continues nearly two weeks after a tornado left a trail of destruction in Arlington. 

The EF2 tornado sent trees crashing down, damaging homes and apartments.

In the Shadowood neighborhood at least seven homes are condemned. There's police tape surrounding some buildings. But despite the looks of things, progress is being made.

From Nick Woods' backyard you can see cars zooming by along Monument Road. His fence is barely standing.

"The fence fell," said Woods. "It's leaning against the guard wire and that's the only thing holding it up right now. So it could go at any moment."

Like many of his neighbors in the Ft. Caroline Lakes subdivision, Woods is waiting on an insurance company to help out with the expenses.

His neighbor, Nick Griffin, is one of the lucky ones who saw little damage to his home. He remembers sitting in on his patio, watching as huge dark clouds approach, on August 1. 

"It happened so fast," said Griffin. "It was jumping from one side to the other. It scared me. I was blessed because it just knocked two trees down in my yard."

Others were not so lucky. Some yards are still littered with debris, and downed fences. Piles of wood now line the sidewalk. In the Arlington area 23 homes had minor damage following the tornado, 15 sustained major structural damage and a total of 11 buildings are now condemned. 

"Compared to last week, it's a lot better," said Griffin. "The city is really doing their job."

"It's getting there," said Woods. "It's moving slowly. I'm sure in another couple of weeks it will be back to the way it was."

For some, it will take a bit longer than for others. The Shadowood Townhomes Community Association will hold a meeting Thursday night August 15 at 6 p.m. On the agenda is discussion of tornado repairs.

First Coast News

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