Winds hit 91 mph in Cedar Key

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By Lou Elliott Jones

The weather station on the Cedar Key dock hit the big one Tuesday morning as a line of storms moved through Levy County clocking winds gusting up to 91 miles per hour. 

Before that a weather station on the island recorded a 74 mph wind gust.

A dock behind Gulfside Motel was knocked down, but the island’s most famous landmark, the Honeymoon Cottage, was still standing. 

“It’s still there. I mean what can you say,” said Cedar Key Fire Chief Robert Robinson. 

Robinson said he had been warned a day earlier by Levy County Emergency Manager Mark Johnson to expect heavy weather on Tuesday morning. 

Johnson said the NWS forecaster Dan Noah said on Monday there would be a second wave of storms on Tuesday morning that could pose problems for Levy County. “I got the first call at 6:50 a.m. saying there was a cell off Cedar Key that had minimal rotation and we could have winds of 55 to 60 mph,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the only injury due to the storm was the result of a limb hitting a truck at Fowler’s Bluff. The juvenile driving ther vehicle suffered a laceration, Johnson said. 

“I got up and said man it looks nasty out there,” Robinson said.

The fire chief was talking to Johnson shortly after rising, when Johnson “said it was the National Weather Service telling him we had a cell offshore that could produce winds of 60 mph and more.”

It was while taking his daughter to Cedar Key School that he noticed the winds picking up. 

“It was about a minute, minute and a half event,” said Robinson, who fielded calls from the national and state media after his photos of the damage sent to the National Weather Service were posted to the Internet. 

By 2 p.m. Robinson pronounced the streets clear of tree limbs, palm fronds and garbage that had been blown about.

“There are no further hazards,” he said.