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Nestor heads into Georgia after tornados damage Florida

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    Michael Foster fishes as Tropical Storm Nestor approaches, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Mexico Beach, Fla.. Forecasters say a disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Nestor. The National Hurricane Center says high winds and dangerous storm surge are likely along parts of the northern Gulf Coast. Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday. (Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)

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    A unidentified surfer rides a wave in the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, as Tropical Storm Nestor churns through the gulf to the south. (Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

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    A group of people watch as a pigeons spooked by a dog take flight on the beach at Okaloosa Island near Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. With Tropical Storm Nestor brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, curious onlookers in this Florida panhandle community came out to see the effects of the storm as it approached. (Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

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    Workers in a bucket hoisted by a crane begin the process of preparing the two unstable cranes for implosion at the collapse site of the Hard Rock Hotel, which underwent a partial, major collapse while under construction last Sat., Oct., 12, in New Orleans, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Authorities plan to blow up the two towering construction cranes that have become unstable at the site of the collapsed hotel. They hope to bring down the cranes with series of small controlled blasts just ahead of approaching tropical weather. The mayor has imposed a state of emergency to seize property and force people out if necessary. They hope to avoid more damage to gas and power lines and historic buildings. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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    Chris Anderson ties down building materials and other objects from his lawn as Tropical Storm Nestor approaches, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Mexico Beach, Fla.. Forecasters say a disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Nestor. The National Hurricane Center says high winds and dangerous storm surge are likely along parts of the northern Gulf Coast. Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday. (Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)

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    Morgan Ryfee and Jason Hart, workers at Mango Marley’s wait for customers as Tropical Storm Nestor approaches, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Mexico Beach, Fla.. Forecasters say a disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Nestor. The National Hurricane Center says high winds and dangerous storm surge are likely along parts of the northern Gulf Coast. Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday. (Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)

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    Chris Anderson ties down building materials and other objects from his lawn as Tropical Storm Nestor approaches, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Mexico Beach, Fla.. Forecasters say a disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Nestor. The National Hurricane Center says high winds and dangerous storm surge are likely along parts of the northern Gulf Coast. Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday. (Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)

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    Chris Anderson ties down building materials and other objects from his lawn as Tropical Storm Nestor approaches, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Mexico Beach, Fla.. Forecasters say a disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Nestor. The National Hurricane Center says high winds and dangerous storm surge are likely along parts of the northern Gulf Coast. Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday. (Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)

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    Morgan Ryfee and Jason Hart, workers at Mango Marley’s wait for customers as Tropical Storm Nestor approaches, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Mexico Beach, Fla.. Forecasters say a disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Nestor. The National Hurricane Center says high winds and dangerous storm surge are likely along parts of the northern Gulf Coast. Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday. (Joshua Boucher/News Herald via AP)

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    Ralph LoBue braves the wind at the end of the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier near Fort Walton Beach, Fla., as he takes a picture of his son, Danny, and the fish he caught on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Newly formed Tropical Storm Nestor is racing toward the northern Gulf Coast with high winds, surging seas and heavy rains Friday. (Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

Published October 19. 2019 11:48PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nestor raced across Georgia as a post-tropical cyclone late Saturday, hours after the former tropical storm spawned a tornado that damaged homes and a school in central Florida while sparing areas of the Florida Panhandle devastated one year earlier by Hurricane Michael.

The storm made landfall Saturday on St. Vincent Island, a nature preserve off Florida’s northern Gulf Coast in a lightly populated area of the state, the National Hurricane Center said.

Nestor was expected to bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to drought-stricken inland areas on its march across a swath of the U.S. Southeast. Forecasters said it also was raising an overnight threat of severe weather in the Carolinas as it continued to speed toward the Atlantic Ocean.

While all tropical storm and surge warnings had been canceled by Saturday afternoon in Florida, the storm escalated weekend threats of possible twisters and severe thunderstorms elsewhere in the South.

The storm spun off at least three tornadoes in Florida as it moved north through the Gulf that caused damage.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said several homes were damaged and Kathleen Middle School had a large section of its roof torn off when the tornado hit late Friday near Lakeland, about an hour’s drive southwest of Orlando.

Photos posted by The Ledger newspaper showed a home with a destroyed roof, downed trees, a large recreational vehicle thrown onto its side and vehicles buried under debris. About 10,000 homes were without power Saturday.

“Thankfully, we have not had any reported serious injuries,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a Saturday statement. “However, there are many people dealing with damage to their homes and property this morning, some of it severe.”

Another suspected tornado in southwest Florida damaged at least a dozen homes in Cape Coral, some severely, the police department said in a statement. No injuries were reported. Another tornado was reported in Pinellas County, producing minor damage at a mobile home park.

In Georgia, remnants of the storm spread heavy rains and triggered two National Weather Service warnings of potential twisters in the state’s south on Saturday evening. Radar indicated possible tornados separately in areas around Rhine and Vienna, Georgia. But there was no immediate confirmation of any tornadoes and no injuries or damages were reported.

Elsewhere, news outlets reported some downed trees and power lines in metro Atlanta as heavy rains spread across Georgia. Photographs showed downed trees blocking some roadways.

In Mexico Beach, Florida, where a powerful October 2018 storm nearly wiped out that Panhandle town and left thousands homeless, the mayor said Saturday that Nestor brought some needed rain to a portion of the state suffering from drought. But there was no damage there.

“There have been no issues,” said Mayor Al Cathey, whose city is still recovering from Michael. “I would call us fortunate.”

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Spencer reported from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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