Tornado damages Riverview neighborhood

A tornado that briefly touched down in Hillsborough County on Friday evening cut a 750-yard long path through a neighborhood and damaged about a dozen homes.
 
The twister was reported about 4:45 p.m. on Colonial Estate Lane in Riverview, according to the National Weather Service, which recorded the extent of the damage. With winds between 65 and 85 mph, the storm broke windows and ripped shingles from roofs.
 
No one was injured, according to the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, whose crews went door to door checking on residents.
 
The NWS says the tornado was the most severe weather reported in the Tampa Bay area as storms moved through Friday.
 
The tornado's path, about 25 yards wide, went through the backyard of six homes. 
 
Witnesses said the tornado lingered on the ground, throwing sheds and loose belongings into the air. At one home, a pontoon boat was thrown into a tree.
 
Lori Boyd watched the tornado come right toward her, she said, tossing a neighbors’ fence into her home.
 
Boyd recently moved from New Jersey and never experienced a tornado before. She held the front door shut to keep the debris out.
 
"Stuff was coming through the weather stripping,” she said. “I had the dead bolt on, but it was still pushing." 
 
Mary LaFollette was inside her home when the tornado came through her backyard.
 
"It sounded like the house was coming apart,” she said. “It sounded like wood beams were coming through the house and the roof was being shredded."
 
The tornado destroyed LaFollette's fence. 
 
The path of destruction started at the back of the community.
 
“You start to look around and see all your belongings scattered around the neighborhood,” Joe Cook said. “t's bad."
 
The cleanup brought neighbors together. People just started pitching in. 
 
"They wasn't even asked to do it,” Cook said, “and they all (were) doing it.”
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