In Florida, a video of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge’s waterspout touchdown has gone viral since it shows a U.S. mail truck sent tumbling twice, end-over-end, after the water twister hit the tractor trailer. Fortunately, the driver of the vehicle was perfectly fine after suffering through the Florida waterspout, and now the driver has a crazy tale to tell everyone.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a large waterspout over Lake Michigan put on quite a show, but also sent boaters scrambling for safety.
The Florida Highway Patrol says the Sunshine Skyway Bridge waterspout sent the United States postal service truck flipping over after the funnel cloud touched down on the bridge. At first, the Florida waterspout simply flipped the large vehicle on its side, but then the truck was flipped a second time by the ferocity of the storm.
Amazingly, the U.S. mail truck eventually came to rest in an upright position after flipping around so much. Amidst this chaos, the driver of the large semi truck, 56-year-old Randall Leaver, managed to stay inside the cab while he was being spun around as if in a giant washer machine. According to the Associated Press, Leaver was not injured by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge’s waterspout incident.
According to WFLA, one of their viewers managed to capture a photo of the Florida waterspout and posted it to Twitter. Meteorologist Bryan Bennett confirmed that the Sunshine Skyway Bridge waterspout first appeared near the bridge appeared at about 9:50 a.m. but then dissipated shortly after.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a narrow bridge in Tampa. The bridge measures more than 21,000 feet long and it has a cable-stayed main span. Although no one was injured during the Sunshine Skyway Bridge waterspout, the Florida Highway Patrol did say a nearby construction site was damaged by the water tornado. The force of the funnel cloud also overturned a boat and knocked over several signs in the area.
Florida Waterspout Sends A Kids Bouncehouse Flying
This is not the first time in 2015 that a Florida waterspout has sent people on a crazy ride. Three children were hurt when an inflatable bounce house was sent flying 50-feet into the air.
“It was disturbing to see the bouncehouse go up and the kids, and the kids falling out like Tonka Toys. It didn’t look real,” witness Reggie Murphy said.
“Everyone was screaming, ‘Oh my God, Oh my God.’ And then everyone started to run,” said another witness named Sophia Fuller. “It was coming from in the water and then it was coming to where we were sitting.”
Four children were hurt when the waterspout dropped the bouncehouse onto the Fort Lauderdale beach. Fortunately, none of them were seriously injured since the sandy beach cushioned their fall, although one child broke her left arm.
How Do Waterspouts Form, And What Makes Them Different From A Land Tornado?
A waterspout is essentially a water tornado, and they have the same physical characteristic as land tornadoes. The formation of a waterspout usually begins with severe thunderstorms, although Floridians are used to having their sunshine rain. As you can see by the video and photos, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge waterspout had blue skies surrounding the dark cloud that spawned the twister.
When a Florida waterspout forms, it begins as a dark spot on the surface of the water only to grow as the rotating columns of air accelerate in their spiral pattern. The waterspout eventually forms a spray ring before the trademark finger-like funnel starts to reach down from the skies.
Whenever a waterspout is spotted, the National Weather Service will issue a special warning, especially in areas where they are expected to move ashore.
[Image via Twitter]