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Gusts wrench mobile home's top

Johnny Roberts just wanted to do a good deed Sunday morning, taking a neighbor to church. He came home to find the roof of his High Point home savaged by wind.

"I took the lady next door to church, and when I got back, that's what I found," said Roberts, 78.

He found a crew of firefighters from the Hernando High Point Volunteer Fire Department cleaning up 16 garbage bags worth of pink insulation and securing what was left of the mobile home's roofover with rope.

A roofover is a secondary covering put on top of an existing roof to add insulation or protectfrom the weather. But harsh weather was the aluminum covering's undoing.

"The wind just picked it up and folded it over, right down the middle," fire Chief Bud Conaway said.

Roberts was not the only person in Hernando County inconvenienced by weekend weather, officials say.

According to officials at Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, hundreds of scattered outages were caused by flying debris and tree limbs. The most significant outage left 1,768 customers without power for about half an hour.

"(The winds) are doing a great job of clearing out dead branches," said spokesman Ernie Holzhauer. "Unfortunately, they're taking power lines right along with them."

Florida Power, which serves Brooksville and Masaryktown, reported about 3,000 customers without service on Sunday because of downed power lines.

At its observation site in Brooksville, the National Weather Service reported wind gusts up to 44 miles per hour on Sunday. Most of the county's one to three inches of rain during the weekend came on Saturday, officials said.

Although heavy surf advisories were issued for the county's west coast, no flooding was reported.

The Brooksville Police Department reported three accidents caused by falling tree branches. A section of Fort Dade Boulevard was closed when a tree snagged a live power line. Officials say that traffic signals at a few of Brooksville's major intersections were out for several hours. No injuries were reported.

Roberts is willing to take the loss in stride.

"No use to worry about it," said Roberts, who has homeowners insurance on the double-wide he's owned for 14 years. "I'm just glad I pay my dues to the fire department every year."

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