As Tropical Storm Nestor moved toward Florida on Friday night, at least two tornadoes caused devastation in the central part of the state.
Thousands of people were being affected by power outages and extensive damage from the high winds.
One tornado touched down east of Tampa in Polk County, according to the National Weather Service.
Corrected the date. Radar of the tornadic supercell that traveled from eastern Hillsborough to western Polk cnty #FL late Fri eve, causing damage along a path from Lakeland to Kathleen. A defined “debris ball” was detected by KTBW doppler radar with this confirmed tornado. #flwx pic.twitter.com/igTCURsT2j
— NWS Tampa Bay (@NWSTampaBay) October 19, 2019
A section of the roof was ripped off at Kathleen Middle School as a result of the tornado, according to WTVT.
Houses and property in the nearby neighborhood were also damaged, including an RV that tipped onto a boat in a driveway.
Andrea Anderson, a Lakeland-based realtor, posted pictures of the aftermath.
“I’m out checking on people and have seen appliances in the middle of the road, trees on houses and cars, and a few homes completely torn apart so far,” she wrote on Facebook.
“A mobile home was lifted off the foundation and moved several yards and many roadways are blocked.”
“I really hope no one was injured. I saw that Kathleen Middle schools roof is ripped off too.”
Due to the tornado’s high winds, a tractor-trailer overturned onto a car with a family in it.
Florida Highway Patrol said no one was hurt.
The driver of a different overturned truck was taken to the hospital following his accident, but Polk Country Sheriff Grady Judd told WFTS no “serious injuries” had been reported.
“Thankfully, we have not had any reported serious injuries related to the ‘long track’ tornado that touched down in our unincorporated areas in northwest Polk County last night,” Judd said.
“However, there are many people dealing with damage to their homes and property this morning, some of it severe,” he continued. “Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and if there is anything you can do to help your friends and neighbors, do it.”
— Jennifer Holton FOX 13 (@jennholtonFOX) October 19, 2019
The other tornado hit a mobile home park near St. Petersburg, according to The Weather Channel, and damaged some roofs and trees.
— Kim Leoffler (@kimleoffler) October 19, 2019
Even after all the the damage that was wrought Friday night, central Florida was still facing extreme weather warnings as of Saturday.
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