Early Morning Storms Leave Path of Damage from Tampa Bay into North Florida

October 13, 2023

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — A storm system that moved across parts of Florida early Thursday left a path of damage to cars, houses and businesses, authorities said.

“We were very fortunate,” Jevon Graham, the Clearwater Fire and Rescue division chief for emergency management, told the Tampa Bay Times. “Nobody lost their life which is great, but there is considerable damage to some of the houses.”

The winds toppled trees and blew portions of roofs off some mobile homes and businesses in Pinellas County before moving north. In Citrus County, officials canceled public school classes for the day.

“The west side of Citrus County has experienced significant damage from an unconfirmed tornado(s) which hit the area overnight,” school officials said in a Facebook post shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday.

Photos posted by the sheriff`s office showed debris on roads, local flooding and damage to mobile homes.

The damage wasn`t limited to the Gulf Coast side of Florida. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said a tornado was reported Thursday morning in a section of Palm Coast, which is some 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of Jacksonville, on the state`s Atlantic Coast.

There were no injuries reported, “however, there is some significant damage in the area,” the sheriff’s office said on social media without providing additional details.

“Please use caution in the area,” the Flagler Sheriff`s Office said.

Some tornado watches remained in effect Thursday morning across parts of central and north Florida.

Top photo: A box truck lay overturned on Thursday, Oct 12, 2023, outside of Bingo Time in Dunedin, Fla., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. An early morning storm system that moved across parts of Florida left a path of damage to cars, houses and businesses. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

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