Alachua County residents woke up to thunderstorms, flooding and a tornado warning on Tuesday.
Amid 30 mph winds, several Regional Transit System bus routes were also delayed and rerouted after a branch fell in front of Gainesville High School. The wind speeds are now 5 mph, National Weather Service Meteorologist Cindy Elsenheimer said.
Alachua County Fire Rescue sent out a tornado warning alert at 9 a.m. after the NWS noticed conditions on the radar that could cause tornadoes, chief Larry Stewart said. There is also a flood warning in effect until 11:30 a.m., Elsenheimer said.
In an email to her class, UF professor Beth Rosenson warned students that Matherly Hall was flooded and classrooms would be inaccessible for hours.
UF spokesperson Steve Orlando wrote in an email that there were no plans, however, to cancel classes Tuesday.
Stewart said no tornadoes have touched down, but the southeast area of the county is the most at risk.
He said residents should avoid driving due to fallen trees and broken traffic lights.
“Pay attention to what the weather is doing,” he said. “Stay off the road, if at all possible.”
A large tree branch fell on Northwest 13th Street and Northwest 16th Avenue, which rerouted RTS bus routes 8 and 29 and delayed route 10, City of Gainesville Assistant Public Information Officer Chip Skinner said.
Sharon Blansett, the UF associate director of Housing for Public and Governmental Relations, said students need to use good judgement while being outside today. She urged students to use their phones to stay informed on weather updates throughout the city.
“The overall message right now is to monitor the weather for personal safety,” she said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Staff writer Romy Ellenbogen contributed to this report.