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Wind & Hurricane Impact Research Laboratory(WHIRL)

Orange County Tornado

Survey Areas

February 22, 23 1998

A category F4 tornado also hit Orange county in the night of February 22, 1998, between 11:45 and 11.55 p.m.. There were 3 casualties in Orange County, and property damage was extensive. More than 200 buildings were heavily damaged, including a gas station, mobile homes, single family housing, and apartment buildings.

#1 Trailer Park


In this case, this trailer was severed from its foundations, lifted, twisted, and thrown side ways, some twenty yards from its original location. The base of the trailer and the side walls remained more or less intact, while the roof totally collapsed.

As can be seen on this picture, two of every three steel straps tie-downs were missing.

The remaining steel straps were severed. Most of them, as well as the anchor bolts were also badly rusted. If all the anchors had been in place, and correctly maintained, the trailer might have survived the tornado. The owner of the home, a retired lady, saved her life but suffered injuries.

Melbourne NWS Official Summary of Tornado Event

All photos by Jean-Paul Pinelli, Director, WHIRL, and Sean O'Neill and Marc Leonard, Graduate Reserach Assistants.

Special thanks to the Osceola County Office of Emergency Management, and the Building and Zoning Department of the City of Kissimmee, who facilitated this survey.