The sentiment expressed by Kevin Peters, director of Leon County Emergency Management, to the Tallahassee Democrat may not have been universally felt, though Airport Director David Pollard told the newspaper that damage to the airport overall was minimal. The airport was closed for a couple of hours after the twister’s 11:45 a.m. touchdown while damage was assessed, but one runway was back in service by midafternoon. “Our airfield looks like it’s in pretty good shape,” Pollard told the newspaper.
Two people were killed and another injured in a car crash on Interstate 10 that officials said was related to weather, though it was unclear if the tornado was a factor.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee confirmed the EF0 tornado packed winds up to 85 mph. The damage was mainly confined to airport property, though a dugout at a nearby high school baseball field was damaged, along with “a barn and a couple of sheds,” the newspaper reported. While the Seminole was the only aircraft flipped by the tornado, other parked aircraft were moved, including at least two large commercial jets. Trees just outside of the terminal were toppled, at least one of which fell on a parked car. Passengers and staff sheltered in stairwells inside the airport as the storm approached.
ATP Flight School trains pilots for airline careers at seven locations around Florida (and 53 nationwide), though Tallahassee is not one of them. A spokesman told AOPA via email that he was still gathering information about whether the pilot(s) of the tempest-tossed twin had been stranded, or if they had returned by other means to their home base.