Winds tear through Spring Hill office plaza

Witness sees delivery truck lift off the ground

SPRING HILL, Fla. - Brenda and Carolyn were outside their Spring Hill office on a break around noon, when they thought they heard the sound of a big truck rumbling down US 19.

But something else was heading their way.

"The trees, they didn't look right and I couldn't even talk.  I pointed," said Carolyn Schwerdtfeger with American Senior Financial, Inc.

"We ran inside the building, and I was like, 'Everybody in the closet, everybody in the closet,'" said her co-worker, Brenda Lee Ray.

Maybe it was a tornado? Or perhaps a micro-burst? But the powerful winds swirled and did plenty of damage.

The winds ripped off roof tiles, wrecked the IHOP sign next door, and took down a big part of a tree.

Kathy Jones says she saw a large delivery truck actually lift off the ground.  "And then a second time it started to raise up and it started tilting towards the building and that's when we just jumped up and ran toward the back.

The business with the most damage appears to be the Gentle Dentist. They believe their air conditioning unit on the roof was actually lifted up by the wind, before it was brought crashing back down.

"The only thing that kept it there were all the wires that came through it," said office manager Tracey Wilkes.

Wilkes says they were examining a patient when the windows started shaking. "We all went running into the bathroom and it was over."

Now they are left with leaky a roof and no A/C. No one was hurt, but some were a little shaken up.

"It was really very frightening to see that to think that mother nature could do something like that, but amazing," said Jones.

It came and went in less than a minute. But the clean-up here will take much longer.

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