Hurricane Irma rips roof off business plaza in Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane Irma caused significant damage to homes and businesses after passing through Manatee County.

Hurricane force winds blew the roof off Whitfield Square, located on Whitfield Avenue, on Monday.

Carlos Deguimaraes was in his apartment when he heard a loud noise.

Deguimaraes said he looked outside and saw the roof on the strip mall, peeling backwards because of the hurricane force winds.

He said moments later, the roof completely blew over and almost fell on top of a woman who was taking a picture.

Her car became trapped underneath.

Deguimaraes said he never thought a hurricane could do so much damage.

“Definitely loud, definitely scaring people. Everybody was outside watching it. So it was definitely scary,” he said.

The stores at the plaza were also damaged.

Sam Ghanaim said his store is destroyed.

Several holes gaped through the roof. Torrential downpours caused leaks and flooded his mini mart.

Ghanaim said he is just glad no one was hurt.

“God gives, God takes. That’s all it is. You can’t say anything and we’re hoping for the help,” he said.

Hurricane Irma also caused a power outage on the block. Dozens lost power after a tree fell on the power line and snapped a pole in half.

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