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Waterspout spotted near Oldsmar

A waterspout sprang up in Tampa Bay Monday evening as a band of storms moved through the region.

People from St. Petersburg north to Oldsmar spotted the funnel, which made a brief foray over land.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said some of its deputies spotted the spout as it came ashore at 422 Shore Drive E in Oldsmar. It damaged the home's roof, knocked down a tree and a mailbox, snapped some wires and blew out a transformer.

Several houses along Shore Drive E in Oldsmar had minor roof damage, said fire Chief Dean O'Nale. No injuries were reported.

The National Weather Service issued a short-lived tornado warning for northern Pinellas County, but canceled it about 7 p.m. Officials said they had been monitoring a funnel that someone spotted near Commerce Boulevard and Tampa Road 10 minutes earlier.

Several motorists traveling on Interstate 275 also saw the waterspout. About a half-dozen people who were going north on the interstate pulled over near Gandy Boulevard.

Many snapped pictures.

"I saw it and I didn't want to go any further," said Randy Holley, who got out of his Chrysler Sebring to stare. "I feel like I want to have an intact car and I want to have dinner tonight."

Moments later, what had been a well-defined funnel in the sky became a black smear.

The Tampa Bay area has experienced a handful of waterspouts this summer.

They are common this time of year, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker, but people normally don't see them so vividly because they may be wrapped up in larger storms.

Waterspout spotted near Oldsmar 07/08/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:20pm]
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