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Tornado that damaged downtown hotel, restaurants had 85-mph winds

A photo taken by weather spotter Robert Siegel, on vacation from Colorado, shows a waterspout that hit the Westin, where he was staying. National Weather Service officials said the spout would be considered a brief low-intensity tornado.

National Weather Service

A photo taken by weather spotter Robert Siegel, on vacation from Colorado, shows a waterspout that hit the Westin, where he was staying. National Weather Service officials said the spout would be considered a brief low-intensity tornado.

TAMPA — The tornado that damaged a downtown hotel's roof and tore up several businesses' furniture lasted only three minutes.

The winds of the brief tornado were clocked at about 85 mph, a damage report from the National Weather Service said. All told, it damaged the downtown Westin hotel, the Florida Aquarium, the Channelside Bay Plaza and Jackson's Bistro.

The cyclone formed as a waterspout over Tampa Bay in the channel between Davis Islands and Harbour Island, the release stated. It moved onshore and became a tornado near the Westin hotel on Harbour Island.

It then worked its way down the channel near the Tampa Bay Times Forum, moving into the Channelside area before dissipating.

The cyclone is listed as a F-0 tornado, the lowest level on the Fujita scale.

Tornado that damaged downtown hotel, restaurants had 85-mph winds 02/27/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:28pm]
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