Some motorists caught an amazing sight on camera. The waterspout footage shows aftermath of a tornado, which crossed the path of a large mail truck in Florida.
Waterspouts are tornadoes which form over water. They generally have the same characteristics as tornadoes, but they are typically not as strong. Once they move inshore, they can become very dangerous as they approach people in populated areas.
According to The Weather Channel, Tampa’s National Weather Service reported it received several reports of a waterspout around 9:50 a.m. EDT toward the Skyway Bridge’s south end.
Waterspouts are not unusual during this time of year, according to experts. Although they tend to be weak, they can become very destructive forces.
“Waterspouts are fairly common near the coastal areas of Florida, particularly during the rainy season from late spring into early fall. Occasionally, they can come onshore and can cause mainly minor damage,” said weather.com digital meteorologist Chris Dolce.
Unfortunately, the waterspout near the Skyway Bridge near Tampa, Florida, did pass the bridge and cause some damage which was a sight to behold to passersby.
Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins took to Twitter to explain that the waterspout overtook a mail truck and damaged the truck, sending mail debris into the water. He advised motorists to “use caution” while traveling on the Skyway Bridge and posted pictures of the U.S. Mail truck.
Use caution in area of NB Skyway following crash with mail truck pic.twitter.com/x8GlZvaU4f
— Steve Gaskins (@SteveG717) October 11, 2015
Mail was ripped from the tractor trailer as it was twisted in the air and it was scattered into the water below. Boats were sent out to retrieve the mail when the danger was no longer an issue.
As for the damage to the U.S. Mail tractor trailer, the waterspout actually lifted the large mail truck and dropped it back down onto its right side before picking it up again and leaving it to rest, severely damaged, on its wheels again, according to Sport Act. One person captured this amazing video in which the tractor trailer was caught up in the waterspout.
Others grabbed still shots as they drove by the waterspout aftermath, calling the scene of the looming tornado next to the bridge “impressive” and “amazing.”
Others captured impressive images of the waterspout near Tampa close up. The water tornado looked wide and menacing up close, but from far away it looked snake-like and skinny as it stretched from the sky to the water.
— Matthew Haneline (@MatthewHaneline) October 11, 2015
Amazingly, the driver of the twisted truck, Randall J. Leaver of Wesley Chapel, Florida, was not injured when the waterspout picked up the U.S. Mail truck as if it were a toy and twisted it like aluminum foil. According to WNCN, the tractor trailer’s metal was completely distorted by the force of the Tampa Bay waterspout.
People driving by the twisted wreck took videos and photos while the waterspout was still visible in the air. They posted their pictures and videos to social media, and many people were in awe of the unique beauty of the twister. Some even called the waterspout “eye candy” on Twitter.
The U.S. postal service truck was not the only thing damaged in the incident. The waterspout overturned a small boat, damaged a construction site, and flattened signs. Thus far, no injuries have been reported. The waterspout later dissipated.
[Photo by FreeImages.com/Sebastian Strobl]