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High winds cause minor damage, scattered outages

Strong winds pushing through the Tampa Bay area early Sunday knocked down trees and power lines, causing property damage and scattered power outages.

While winds reached speeds of 40 to 50 mph in the storm system — the same one that spawned a deadly wave of Midwest and Southern tornadoes — the National Weather Service said the winds here were exclusively straight-line. There were no tornadoes detected on radar anywhere in the area.

But the system was strong enough to tear the roof off the Armenia Village condominiums in Tampa, displacing at least two dozen residents. Others across the Tampa Bay area reported downed trees and damaged porches and cars. There were no reports of injuries.

Tampa Electric Co. said most of the power outages in Hillsborough County were minor, affecting only a few customers. There were a few larger outages, mostly concentrated in the Town 'N Country and north Tampa areas, that affected as many as 200 customers.

Progress Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said fallen trees and other debris knocked out power to about 31,000 customers in its coverage area, including 11,000 in Pinellas, 3,200 in Pasco and 350 in Hernando. The company had restored the majority of service by 4 p.m.

The temperature across the area was expected to dip into the 40s this morning, according to Bay News 9 meteorologist Brian McClure, and drop into the 30s in Pasco and Hernando counties. But it will warm into the 70s by the afternoon.

Times staff writers Keyonna Summers and Will Hobson contributed to this report.

High winds cause minor damage, scattered outages 03/04/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 4, 2012 7:46pm]
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