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High winds topple trees, block roads in northeast Pasco

DADE CITY — Fierce winds ripped through northeast Pasco County on Monday evening, toppling trees and knocking down power lines.

"All that stuff was straight-line winds from a big storm that moved south through Sumter County and then into Hernando and Pasco,'' said Ernie Jillson of the National Weather Service.

The area had been under a severe thunderstorm warning from the National Weather Service, as Doppler radar showed a severe storm with winds in excess of 60 mph.

Calls came in to 911 shortly after 6 p.m. from residents describing downed trees and quarter-sized hail near Blanton and James Roads, just east of Interstate 75, south of the Pasco-Hernando county line.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but the damage blocked Blanton Road and other streets. Pasco Fire Rescue dispatchers reported a pole barn collapsed on some cars.

Jim Johnston, operations coordinator for Pasco County emergency management, said the winds took down a number of large oak trees. Fewer than 100 homes lost power.

Pasco County and Florida Department of Transportation crews worked to clear the roads, he said, and some trees were reported down on I-75 north of State Road 52.

High winds topple trees, block roads in northeast Pasco 06/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 10:42pm]
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