Tornado roars through Harbour Island, Channelside, Davis Islands

National Weather Service says tornado EF0

TAMPA - "It was heavy wind and for literally about six or seven seconds, it was like the Breath of God came down," said Adam Page.

That breath whipped through Harbour Island, Channelside, and Davis Islands as loud as a jet airplane landing.

"I thought my windows were going to fly out of the building, because it was so strong," said Page.

It peeled the roof off the Westin Hotel and one Harbour Place smashing metal on the roadway like a crumpled-up chewing gum wrapper. Bank employees took cover in a cash vault when plate glass windows started chattering, and the dock where Bob Dawson keeps his boat is a twisted mess.

"It's just a matter of whether the finger lands on you or not. It's all part of being down here," he said.

Eleven stories up inside the Westin, Rob Seigel snapped photos with his iPhone-- the kind someone with a PhD in atmospheric science dreams about.

"I see this tall column of water," said Seigel.

The waterspout then roared ashore Harbour Island as an EF0 tornado according to the National Weather Service.

"You could see the circulation. You can kind of see the spray and you can actually see some wake spin up in the water from the waterspout trail," explained Seigel.

The tornado whirled furniture off the decks of tower condos and spit them out into tangled trees limbs.

"It almost blew me off the balcony and then I turned around come running back to my unit and it slammed the door on me, and all this sheet rock starting falling," said Rebecca Jernigan.

And then the higher power that huffed through here this morning quieted to a Sunshine State breeze. 

"That's Florida for you," said Harbour Island resident John Vina.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments