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Storms produce winds up to 70 mph, knock out electricity for thousands

Authorities are assessing damage to the Tampa Bay area from a strong line of storms that moved through Saturday afternoon.

The storms produced 40 to 70 mph winds, said Eric Oglesby, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. Gusts of 70 mph were reported in Indian Rocks Beach, Pinellas Park and at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

He said the agency has not had any reports of injuries or major damage. Oglesby said he expects to hear more about downed tree limbs and power lines.

"It's kind of early on," he said just after 3 p.m. Saturday. "Everything just happened."

He said this line of storms "should be it for our area" for today. There is a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms Sunday morning, he said.

"This is the brunt of it," he said of storms this weekend.

Progress Energy reported about 13,000 customers without power in the Tampa Bay area as of about 3:30 p.m., with outages in Pinellas County scattered from East Lake to Tierra Verde. One of the larger outages is near Lealman, where 6,696 customers lost electricity. Power was expected to be restored in that area by 10 p.m., according to the company's website.

Tampa Electric reported about 8,000 customers had no power, with most of the outages in Tampa.

Storms produce winds up to 70 mph, knock out electricity for thousands 05/14/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 14, 2011 3:52pm]
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