Wind blew a boat storage cover over a motel on Gandy Blvd. and caused damage to cars and power lines
9:53 PM, Jul 30, 2013
9:12 AM, Jul 31, 2013
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fl - Firefighters and electric crews are working to restore power tonight to businesses and residences near Gandy Boulevard NE and Snug Harbor Road after heavy storms whacked the area.
"You heard all of a sudden a quiet and then you heard the big boom," said Rick Tibbetts, a motel guest.
The wind was so ferocious it even whipped up an aluminum boat storage cover, blew it over the roof of the Sahara Motel, and tossed it into power lines.
Many of those lines snapped. The live wires hit cars in the motel parking lot.
"I seen the material from the boats back there coming up out of the boat because I had my shades pulled open. And then, the awnings just come right up that is protecting the boats and just blew over the top of the roof," Tibbetts explained.
Three cars in the parking lot were damaged. A minivan had its back window blown own exposing the seatbelt, another car's roof caved in and another car sustained a deep gash to the front left fender.
Pinellas Sheriff's deputies did block off eastbound traffic for about 20 minutes until the power to the area could be turned off. With power lines on the roadway, it was unsafe for cars to drive by.
Most residents in the area remain without power.
Despite a waterspout in the area, this damage did not result from that.