Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Storm damages two Madeira Beach buildings and cuts power to more than 2,500

The roof of the Holiday Isles Resort, right, blew off and damaged the neighboring Palms of Madeira Beach condominium building.


The roof of the Holiday Isles Resort, right, blew off and damaged the neighboring Palms of Madeira Beach condominium building.

MADEIRA BEACH — Dale Moody was asleep in a second-floor room of the Holiday Isles Resort early Wednesday when a storm ripped off the roof.

"I woke up and thought I was outside," said Moody, 40, of Largo. "I was looking up at the sky. It was pretty intense and rain was coming in. At first I thought I was dreaming and then I thought, 'Oh, this is not good.' "

Moody retreated to the kitchen, which still had a roof, until the building was evacuated.

No one was injured.

The roof at the motel, 14711 Gulf Blvd., damaged the next-door condominium, the Palms of Madeira Beach.

Weather forecasters blamed straight-line winds, but Eileen Danelli-Rutz, 55, was convinced it was a tornado. Danelli-Rutz said she heard the sound of a freight train that is so often described by witnesses during a tornado.

Danelli-Rutz, who just moved from Richmond, Va., was staying at the motel with her daughter, son-in-law, 1-year-old grandson, Ryan, and a dog. She grabbed what she could and ran outside.

"I grabbed my jewelry and passport, took my pocketbook and shoes, but no clothes," she recalled as she stood outside the motel. She was desperate to get back to the room to get a breast pump for her grandson, but the evacuees were told they could not return until the building is inspected, which could take 24 hours.

Sixteen people were at the Holiday Isles and 12 at Palms of Madeira Beach when the winds came through, Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said. The roof also fell on three or four vehicles.

The residents were moved to another nearby motel.

Winds estimated at 50 to 60 mph were responsible for the damage, said Rick Davis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin. No other structures or trees in the area were damaged, he said.

Emergency managers who examined the building said it was old and in poor shape, which likely contributed to the damage.

Tammy McDonough, who manages the property with her husband, said she received a call from a guest who screamed that the roof had collapsed. She said a couple of people were asleep when debris fell on them. Fortunately, she said, no one was hurt.

"The roof was just peeled off like they took a can opener — like you just opened it up and let it go," McDonough said.

Inspectors told her it would take two weeks to two months to repair the roof. She said the whole building had to be closed.

McDonough said they hadn't had any issues with the roof before — no leaks, no problems.

The winds were part of a band of thunderstorms that also brought several inches of rain and lightning to the Tampa Bay area and caused scattered power outages affecting more than 2,500 customers in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, said Bay News 9 Meteorologist Juli Marquez.

St. Petersburg got the most overnight and Wednesday morning rain with 5.67 inches, according to Bay News 9. Tampa got 3.2 inches, Dade City got 2 inches and most of Hernando County got less than an inch.

Storm damages two Madeira Beach buildings and cuts power to more than 2,500 09/07/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies


    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.