Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Storms pelt Tampa Bay area

A strong line of storms descended over the Tampa Bay area late Wednesday, bringing high winds, lightning and a tornado watch.

Several severe weather warnings were issued for much of the region, although no major damage or injuries were reported as of late evening.

Still, many schools canceled afternoon activities, and construction companies postponed work on several roads in preparation for the weather.

The storms moved swiftly across the area, and were expected to peter out this morning.

The brunt of the storms appeared to hit mid Pinellas County, but Pasco had the strongest reported winds. At one point, winds reached 60 mph in Hudson, according to Bay News 9.

"It's pretty much exactly what we expected," said Josh Linker, a Bay News 9 meteorologist.

In St. Petersburg, strong winds and old age apparently toppled a 35-foot tree about 5 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said, sending it crashing onto two pickup trucks off 22nd Avenue S.

Dwight Williams was hanging out outside the Lakeview Market at 1940 22nd Ave. S when he and his friends heard a loud crack.

They looked up to see the tree, estimated to be at least 50 years old, splitting.

The group of about 10 to 15 people scattered. Williams tried to get to his truck to move it out of the tree's path.

"When I looked up, it was coming down," the 50-year-old said. "By the time I got to my truck, it was coming down, so I jumped inside."

The tree smashed across the hoods of the vehicles and brushed Williams' left arm, but he was not injured.

"I'm lucky," Williams said as friends helped cut away branches a few hours later. "I thank God. It really didn't catch me the way it could have."

No other major damage was reported late Wednesday. A tornado watch issued for five counties, including Hernando and Pasco, was to expire at 4 a.m. today, but the threat to Tampa Bay had diminished significantly by 10 p.m. Wednesday, weather officials said.

Wednesday night's storms were just the first in a series of systems expected to affect the area over the next few days, Linker said.

Although today is expected to be clear and in the mid 70s, another area of low pressure is expected to form Friday and Saturday, he said.

Temperatures will drop to the mid 60s and widespread rain is expected.

"It's going to be very heavy rain on Friday," Linker said.

Storms pelt Tampa Bay area 12/02/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.