Forty-five days after a predawn tornado tore apart a temporary housing structure at the Pasco County jail, work is nearly complete on its replacement.
The total cost of the twister's damage: between $1.2-million and $1.3-million, Sheriff Bob White said Thursday.
Early on Dec. 16, the detention staff evacuated 185 inmates from two tent-like structures moments before the tornado struck, demolishing one of the tents and damaging the second. No one was injured. Both were erected as extra quarters to ease overcrowding.
Since then, contractors, county staff members and jail inmates have been working to rebuild. The costs will be covered by a variety of county sources, including risk management funds and insurance.
Driver dies after SUV crashes
St. Petersburg police believe a man suffered a medical problem while driving in St. Petersburg, causing him to crash and later die.
Witnesses saw Andrew Milton Jr., 49, driving a Chevy Blazer south on 20th Street N about 4 p.m. when he made a wide turn onto First Avenue N. After traveling one block west, the sport utility vehicle veered off the road and hit a sign, then came back onto the road and swerved off again.
Milton, who lived in the 1800 block of 18th Avenue N, was conscious at the scene, but paramedics had to help him out of the SUV. According to police, the crash was not serious enough to cause death. An autopsy will be performed.