VIDEO: 3 tornadoes leave trail of damage in Pinellas, Pasco

Photo taken near BayCare Health System office on Drew St in Clearwater. Courtesy Robert J Brandenstein Jr.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (WFLA)– The National Weather Service says three tornadoes struck Pasco and Pinellas Counties on Thursday morning, leaving a trail of storm damage.

WFLA TV viewers sent dramatic video and photos that show a tornado and waterspout.

National Weather Service Meteorologists examined damage in Pasco and Pinellas Counties and released the results of their investigation.

In Pasco County, a confirmed EF0 tornado touched down around 5:51 a.m. in the Jasmine Estates area. The estimated peak wind of the tornado was 65 mph. The NWS said sporadic damage was found along the 3-mile path of the tornado indicating it was not likely on the ground for the entire three miles, but lifted off the ground at some point before briefly touching down again near Little Road and then dissipating.

The NWS said at least 25 structures sustained damage, mainly pool cages, roofs, garages and carports. Numerous tree limbs were snapped at the top of the trees with a few trees uprooted. A few business signs were damaged or destroyed. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said at least 35 homes were damaged.

Two tornadoes struck in Pinellas County. The NWS says both tornadoes were classified on the Fujita Scale as EF0, which have winds from 65 to 95 mph.

The NWS said that Clearwater Beach police witnessed a waterspout that briefly came onshore as a tornado in Clearwater Beach around 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. The tornado downed power lines and knocked down three tree branches. The estimated peak wind of that tornado was 65 mph. The width of the tornado was a maximum of 50 yards and its path was 1/10th of a mile.

The same storm spawned another tornado just north of the west end of the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Clearwater. The second Pinellas County tornado struck at 6:55 a.m. and had an estimated peak wind of 76 mph. The tornado’s path was 8/10th of a mile long.

15 homes were damaged by this tornado. Most had minor roof damage caused by loose tree branches. One home had a hole punched into its roof by a downed tree. Another home had part of its roof peeled back.

Investigators found a line of damage beginning near Cliff Stephens Park on Fairwood Avenue and extending about a half block east of McMullen Booth Road. Much of the damage was observed near tree tops. A few trees were also uprooted.

The tornado also knocked out power to traffic lights at the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and Gulf to Bay Boulevard, which becomes the Courtney Campbell Causeway. WFLA

Reporter Peter Bernard and photojournalist Todd Davis found damage at the Eddie C. Moore Recreation Complex, which is nearby, at Drew Street and McMullen Booth Road.

No injuries were reported in connection with any of the tornadoes.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories-

  • EF0- Weak: 65 to 85 mph
  • EF1- Weak: 86 to 110 mph
  • EF2- Strong: 111 to 135 mph
  • EF3- Strong: 136 to 165 mph
  • EF4- Violent: 166 to 200 mph
  • EF5- Violent: 200 mph
WFLA viewer Tammie Swartzbeck sent us this photo from Clearwater. The National Weather Service has not determined if a tornado was in the Clearwater area. This is the message that Tammie Swartzbeck included: "This was taken by my husband in Clearwater this morning. He works for Pinellas County. I'd say we had a tough down. They were hit with some of the winds and rain but lucky not to get that tornado."
WFLA viewer Tammie Swartzbeck sent us this photo from Clearwater. The National Weather Service has not determined if a tornado was in the Clearwater area. This is the message that Tammie Swartzbeck included: “This was taken by my husband in Clearwater this morning. He works for Pinellas County. I’d say we had a tough down. They were hit with some of the winds and rain but lucky not to get that tornado.”
The storm knocked out power to traffic lights in Clearwater at the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and Gulf to Bay Boulevard which becomes the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
The storm knocked out power to traffic lights in Clearwater at the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and Gulf to Bay Boulevard which becomes the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

 

NWS confirmed tornado

NWS water spout

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