Strong winds damage homes in Dade City

Posted at 4:48 AM, Mar 25, 2016

More than 60 homes in Dade City were damaged when strong storms and straight line winds rolled through the area early Friday morning, authorities said.

'It was very scary because you don't know for sure what happened," said Phil Jennings, a resident of Country Aire Estates, a mobile home community on McDonald Street in Dade City.

"I heard this loud rumbling noise," said Bill Burnam, another resident. "I've been through hurricanes out here. Nothing like this."

Pasco County firefighters and other first responders arrived on the  scene shortly after 12:30 a.m., Pasco County spokesman Doug Tobin said in a news release. At least four roofs were torn off mobile homes and trees were ripped out of the ground in Country Aire Estates on McDonald Street east of U.S. 301 in Dade City.

"That's when it sounded like a freight train coming through the park," said Ken Korri, who lives in the neighborhood.

A screened room was snatched from one mobile home. A golf cart was tipped over and its frame damaged. Sheet metal from several buildings was strewn on the ground. A piece of metal roof was also trapped high up in a tree.

No injuries were reported, but neighbors were still very shaken up about what happened. Lillian Korri teared up at the thought of her neighbors listening to the storm tear apart their roof.

"Their roof was blowing away and all they did was cuddle together," she said.

But she is grateful that they and everyone else in the neighborhood is alright.

"They still have each other, they still have the contents of their home," Korri said.

In the meantime, residents have started helping those hardest hit clean up the damage. Pasco County Public Works crews were also on site. Cleanup efforts were temporarily halted by another storm system that passed through Friday afternoon.

"The people who live in here, they know everybody and they're going to help each other out when they can," Jennings said.

The National Weather Service reported flat line winds ranging from 40 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour during the passing storm.