The 2265 Minneola-Clermont-Four Corners, Florida Tornadowas a deadly, catastrophic, and long-tracked, EF5-rated tornado. Causing 6,810 deaths, over 50,000 injuries, and $75.36 billion (2265 USD) in damages.
That EF5 left 16,763 people dead, along with 328,609 injuries, and a record $81.6 billion (2018 USD) or $960.2 billion (2265 USD) in damages.
The first tornado warnings were issued around noon as the storm exploded over Central Florida. By 1:00 PM CDT, the first of 65 tornadoes touched down northeast of Leesburg. Causing EF0 damage, this tornado remained on the ground for 4 minutes.
In all, during this outbreak, 17 of the 65 tornadoes were rated either an EF4 or an EF5 with 16 EF4's being confirmed, including a 69.42 mile track near Orlando which killed 23.
Another 8 were rated EF3 and 12 were rated EF2 as in all, 7,892 deaths were confirmed during the outbreak, along with 61,321 injuries, and $25.45 billion (2265 USD) in damages. The outbreak is one of the deadliest and costliest outbreaks ever recorded.
The EF5 tornado first touched down near the Florida Turnpike about 10 miles south of Leesburg. Causing EF0 to EF1 damage for 10 miles EF2 damage occurred to the Clerbrook Golf and RV Resort. The Lakeridge Winery was significantly damaged at EF2 strength. High-end EF2 to low-end EF3 damage occurred at the Lake County Prison before the tornado intensified into a mid-range EF3. $75 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Low-end to mid-range EF3 damage occurred over a 2 mile radius. Around this time, a couple of satellite tornadoes touched down, causing minimal damage as the EF3 intensified into a mid-range EF3.
2 were severely injured as the mid-range EF3 severely damaged several homes. In addition, a power grid was destroyed and metal power lines were obliterated. Also, many cars were thrown off the road, killing 4 and plowing over trees in the process.
More mid-range EF3 damage occurred to multiple businesses, including a John Deere tractor plant, a McDonald's, a Dollar General, a CVS, a Walgreens, and a Circle-K. In addition, an apartment building suffered severe damage as the tornado hit the building with 155 mph winds. $30 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
More mid-range EF3 damage occurred to multiple businesses. Due to the size and strength, a PDS was issued as the tornado was entering heavily populated areas. Reaching a damage path of up to 0.8 miles, 30 were killed as a shopping plaza, along with a few health offices and residential areas were leveled. Another $25 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Becoming a high-end EF3, more than 600 were injured as the tornado moved into residential areas. Many homes were leveled as the tornado became an EF4. A tornado emergency was issued as the tornado, which showed no signs of weakening, entered Clermont, which had a population of 380,000 people. Dozens of homes were flattened and trees were obliterated. Another $70 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Hundreds more structures were destroyed, killing 17 and causing $60 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred. As the tornado began to strengthen, scouring of asphalt occurred on U.S. 27 and Hooks Street. A Holiday Inn, a Wawa, a PNC Bank, a Goodwill, an Arby's, and a storage facility was leveled. Tracking south more, a few more structures were flattened at low-end to mid-range EF4 strength. 34 were killed as dozens of businesses, venues, and restaurants were leveled.
Beginning to re-strengthen, high-end EF4 damage was done to Chick-Fil-A and a RaceTrac, multiple doctor offices and two residential neighborhoods were obliterated. A golf course in one neighborhood was severely scoured and 2 alligators were unfortunately killed as debris flew into a pond housing them. In addition, 60 people were killed, along with 2,179 injuries as the tornado approached a shopping plaza with many stores and more offices. A Publix, a McDonald's, a SunTrust, a Circle K, a Regions, a CVS, a Walgreens, and a Marathon were all destroyed at EF5 strength. Another $400 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
An additional 41 were killed, along with 987 injuries as the tornado obliterated another plaza at mid-range to high-end EF4 strength. A trailer park, along with another two residential neighborhoods were obliterated. 120 were killed, along with another 683 injuries as high-end EF4 to EF5 damage occurred in this area. A electrical grid was destroyed and tossed 1,000 yards. Tracking south-southeast, severe ground scouring occurred and was rated EF5. Another $20 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
At this point, the EF5 widened to an large width of 1.7 miles. Over a 3 mile course, ground scouring up to 30 inches was recorded and asphalt was tossed up to 8,000 yards away. One strip of asphalt was found 18 miles away on I-4. Approaching Lake Louisa, thousands of trees were noted to be debarked and denuded and 25 cattle were killed and dismembered. Lake Louisa lost an estimated 1/4 of it's water and the tornado moved south-southwest towards a string of well-built neighborhoods which were a mile from it's position. $1 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Gaining even further strength, thousands more trees were obliterated, becoming debarked and denuded. A tourist stand was swept away and two properties suffered the same damage. Two monster trucks at the stand were tossed 3 miles into a deciduous forest. Touching the outskirts of a residential neighborhood, multiple homes were swept away. Due to the 2018 Clermont-Groveland-Four Corners EF5 that occurred over 247 years earlier, all shelters in Florida had to have been at least 10 feet underground in the events of another catastrophic tornado. While hundreds could have died, only 9 were killed in the neighborhood and 24 were injured. However, EF5 damage occurred to every single house in the subdivision. $20 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Severe ground scouring continued to occur to asphalt and trees as the tornado approached an elementary school, along with a trio of neighborhoods. Luckily, since it was a Sunday and classes were not in session due to summer break, no was present at the school. Unfortunately, the tornado had winds approaching 340 mph (547 km/h) and every single home was obliterated. The well-built elementary school was swept clean off it's foundation and all homes in the trio of neighborhoods were swept away as well. 234 deaths occurred at these locations and 2,567 were injured. For a continuous 15 mile-path, EF5 damage occurred to everything in the twister's path. $150 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Impacting a further four neighborhoods, everything in the twister's path was destroyed and 352 deaths occurred in this area, along with 1,996 injuries. A fruit stand, along with a shopping plaza, and a Wawa was destroyed. A U-Haul storage space was obliterated, along with a closed daycare. A firehouse was also destroyed, but the firemen evacuated before the tornado impacted the building. Damage in this area was also rated EF5. Continuing to track south even further, another shopping plaza was obliterated, along with a 7-Eleven, a Circle K, a CVS, a Walgreens, an Autozone, a Wendy's, four residential neighborhoods and abandoned property. All businesses were destroyed in the twister's path and 421 people were killed, along with 5,747 injuries. Another $7.75 billion (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
After crossing into Polk County, the sign for entering the county was destroyed, along with severe ground scouring. In addition, trees were debarked and denuded. Tracking south, EF5 damage occurred to a neighborhood of well-built homes and a mobile home park. In addition, a Circle K, a small plaza, and a storage unit plaza was destroyed at EF5 strength. Another plaza was leveled before another neighborhood was under attack. Two neighborhoods, one housing well-built, anchor bolted homes, and the other, housing mobile homes. All homes in both neighborhoods were destroyed and killed 122. In addition, 364 were injured. A recreational park was leveled as well, with the turf at the park being scoured. A 16-inch trench was dug at the park. $100 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
After destroying a park, another three residential neighborhoods were completely leveled. Some areas were rated EF4 as the tornado slightly weakened, but retained EF5 strength. Tracking further south, a shopping plaza that
housed an IHOP, a Publix, an Applebee's, a SunTrust, a Circle K, a CVS, and a Dollar General was leveled. Up to 250 cars were tossed, including a Ford F-150 that was tossed onto I-4, which killed 2 people, which was included in the official direct death toll. At the plaza, 131 people were killed and 419 were injured. After leaving devastating damage to the plaza, the tornado continued tracking south-southwest at EF5 intensity. Around this time, a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) recorded wind speeds up to 346 mph (556 km/h). Another two residential neighborhoods were obliterated, causing EF5 damage to well-built, anchor bolted homes, killing 73 people and injuring 461. Another $200 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
In addition, severe ground scouring occurred. Reaching it's peak width, the Four Corners Lower School or known as Four Corners Elementary School, was destroyed at EF5 strength. Another neighborhood and a trailer park were destroyed, killing another 99 and injuring 205. A billboard was destroyed and thrown 2 miles. The tornado continued to track at a south-southwest position as another small plaza, as well as two residential neighborhoods were obliterated and destroyed. 44 were killed at this location and another 136 were injured. Another $50 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Severe ground scouring occurred before a small villa was destroyed. Approaching a grocery store, along with a group of apartments and another residential neighborhood, along with Four Corners Upper School, severe scouring of asphalt and grass. 653 were killed at this location and 7,312 were injured as well as catastrophic damage occurred in this area. Still tracking south-southwest, more asphalt was stripped, leaving the road bare to dirt and sand. Severe ground scouring occurred in this area as well. Another $1.6 billion (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
Around this time, a satellite tornado touched down as the EF5 was causing catastrophic damage to a quartet of neighborhoods. In this area, 46 people were killed and 4,328 were injured and cars were mangled and thrown up to 5 miles away. In a 1/4 mile stretch, no buildings were in the tornado's path with trees being debarked and denuded, and extensive ground and asphalt scouring occurred. Another $50 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
A storage space for boats and motor homes was obliterated at EF5 strength. Ground scouring and scouring of asphalt. Another small plaza, along with a Walgreens, a Circle K, a Subway and the outskirts of two neighborhoods were destroyed. In addition, multiple factories to the west of the tornado were also obliterated. 21 deaths occurred and 84 injuries occurred. Damage in this area was also rated EF5. Tracking more south now, the tornado weakened briefly as a Love's gas station, an Arby's and a Cracker Barrel, along with a couple of factories were struck at high-end EF4 strength. A few homes suffered high-end EF3 to low-end EF4 damage as the outer bands of the tornado impacted them. Severe ground scouring, along with severe stripping of asphalt occurred in this area as well and 33 people died, along with 99 injuries. A Walmart warehouse was obliterated as well, causing EF5 damage. After this, the tornado under drastic weakening. EF3 damage occurred to a McDonald's and Wendy's that was 1/10 of a mile from the Walmart warehouse. 2 were killed here, and 23 were injured. However, the tornado regained strength as it neared I-4. Due to the 2018 event that occurred 247 years prior, I-4 was shutdown within a 3-mile radius to ensure as little fatalities as possible. Another $5 billion (2265 USD) in damages occurred.
After destroying an overpass, a Taco Bell, a Mattress One, an AT&T, a Sprint and a Family Dollar were both obliterated, causing a further 4 deaths and 190 injuries, along with $8 million (2265 USD) in damages. Traveling southwest, many building were also destroyed, and severe ground scouring occurred here as well. After striking these areas, the tornado made a sharp turn to the west, impacting a couple neighborhoods, killing 66 and injuring 402. Severe scouring of the ground and asphalt occurred as well.
After staying in heavily populated areas, the tornado shifted into rural countryside filled with swamps and forest. Over a 40 mile span, most structures in the tornado's path was farms. An estimated 1 million trees were debarked and denuded, with some being thrown and found on I-4. The tornado became a more pale cream color as a strip of land development suffered severe scouring. A truck on the premises was found mangled beyond recognition on I-4. After this, the tornado became a waterspout several times after tracking into lakes such as Lake Mattie, Lake Juliana, Lake Arietta, and Lake Parker. Before tracking onto Lake Parker, the EF5 completely destroyed a Sam's Club distribution center east of Lakeland.
A neighborhood was then annihilated, with 4 people getting killed and 670 injuries occurring. Coming into populated areas, the tornado drastically weakened, producing EF1 to EF2 damage in Lakeland. The tornado then went on a northwest track, the tornado caused a further $2 billion (2265 USD) in damages as houses in these locations were significantly damaged, causing 4,326. The tornado then entered another stretch of forest, producing low-end to high-end EF3 damage in the forest. Many more warehouses and homes were leveled at high-end EF3 strength, causing a further $4 billion (2265 USD) in damages. After tracking south of Kathleen and northwest of Lakeland, the east side of Winston was likely to get hit at high-end EF3 to low-end EF4 strength. Hundreds of homes were severely damaged east of Winston, causing 986 injuries, and Lakeland Linder International Airport was severely damaged, causing $7 billion (2265 USD) in damages as military jets stored at the airport were destroyed. Another $2 billion (2265 USD) in damages occurred east of Winston as the tornado caused even more ground scouring.
After hitting Linder International, the tornado entered another strip of dense forest. Trees were debarked and denuded and severe ground scouring occurred. Scouring was so severe that it was rated EF5. Before the tornado crossed into Hillsborough County, it killed another 2 in a car as it was obscured due to the dense forest. Tracking near the county line, more trees were obliterated, with dozens of trees being debarked and denuded and found on I-4. Severe ground scouring continued to occur and asphalt was severely stripped, once again reducing the road to just dirt and sand. In all, 1,318 people were killed, another 20,335 injuries occurred, and $42.008 billion (2265 USD) in damages occurred in Polk County alone.
Striking northeastern-north-northwestern Keysville, more severe ground scouring occurred and hundreds more trees were debarked and denuded. In the areas southwest of Lakeland, damages reached $200 million (2265 USD) in damages. Tracking further southwest, more trees were debarked and denuded, and severe ground scouring continued to occur. A line of homes were completely destroyed, killing 1 and injuring 14. The tornado loosing strength, caused high-end EF4 damage to multiple homes, killing 1 and injuring 6. The tornado then went into rural countryside, debarking and denuding thousands of trees and causing more severe ground scouring. Tracking still at south-southwest, the tornado became a land spout once again when it went onto the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir. $20 million (2265 USD) in damages.
A solar energy farm was leveled once the tornado emerged off the reservoir, causing EF5 damage. A solar panel was found in Tampa Bay. Tracking into dense forest once again, thousands of trees were debarked and denuded. Severe scouring occurred and a trench up to 32 inches occurred. After tracking 3 miles through dense forest, the tornado emerged on Balm Picnic Road, absolutely leveling the University of Florida-Gulf Coast Research and Education Center facility. EF4 to EF5 damage was noted here, along with severe ground scouring and the debarking and denuding of trees. More farms were leveled, including another solar energy farm. Then, the tornado tracked into an open field, severely scouring the field before impacting the Friends and Family Church on State Road 674. A produce center was then leveled before the tornado tracked back into the swamps and dense forests. Beginning to track southwest once again, the debarking and denuding of trees and severe ground scouring continued. Crossing Saffold Road, 2 were killed as they were chasing the storm. In all, 4 people were killed, along with 20 injuries, and $220 million (2265 USD) in damages in Hillsborough County alone.
The tornado turned to the southwest, debarking and denuding hundreds of trees and leveling multiple homes in the vicinity. Tracking into forest once again, thousands of trees were debarked and denuded, along with severe ground scouring occurring and asphalt being stripped. Eastern Willow was leveled, killing 3. A steel railroad bridge was destroyed and mangled. Many cars and farm vehicles were tossed and mangled in this area. The EF5 became a landspout onto Lake Parrish, removing nearly a tenth of the lake's water volume. Multiple storm chasers were just missed by the tornado on State Road 62 as severe ground and asphalt scouring occurred in this area as well. Minor weakening occurred as the tornado tracked into more rural areas housing solar panel farms. An estimated $5 million (2265 USD) in damages occurred alone from the destruction of the farms. Severe asphalt scouring occurred before the tornado approached Lake Manatee from the north.
Becoming a tornado once again, hundreds more trees were debarked and denuded. In addition, severe ground and asphalt scouring on State Road 64. In the span of 3 minutes, over a dozens buildings were completely destroyed. A sports park and a small motor speedway were leveled. In addition, multiple solar farms were completely destroyed, and over 100 vehicles were tossed and mangled beyond recognition. Severe ground and asphalt scouring occurred in the process as well. Hundreds of homes were completely leveled, with multiple being swept away. Severe ground scouring and asphalt scouring occurred as well.