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Pinellas Park businesses cleaning up after EF-2 tornado tears through industrial park

Posted at 5:01 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 23:12:19-05

PINELLAS PARK, Fla- — Clean up continues in Pinellas Park after an EF-2 tornado tore through and damaged more than two dozen buildings in an industrial park off of Bryan Dairy Rd.

Thankfully no one was injured.

RELATED: National Weather Service confirms 2 tornadoes in Tampa Bay area Wednesday

On Thursday, December 17, the National Weather Service confirmed the tornado was an EF-2 with 125 mph winds.

Below is video caught from a dashcam during the tornado.

Video caught from a dashcam inside a Done Rite Hauling work truck during the second the tornado hit

Several businesses hunkered down in their buildings throughout the storm, and some even said they got the emergency alert that a tornado was coming only seconds before it hit.

“The big splash of the roof, the tops, all the metal parts, debris is flying through, a quick second splash and the tree stems and everything, so you couldn’t even imagine the magnitude of it,” said Babu Parvataneni, the owner of 3FDM Manufacturing.

Debris lined the street up and down Endeavour Way Thursday. Several large trees were uprooted, dozens of cars were damaged and totaled, trailers were tipped on their side, roofs were blown off, fences were down, and that only describes some of the damage.

Dozens of business owners awaited clearance from the Pinellas Park Police Department to be able to go down the street and assess the damage to their businesses.

Shortly before noon on Thursday, the police department began allowing business owners with an address to go down the street.

Crews from Duke Energy continued work on power lines, and business owners and city crews helped pick up debris.

“It looks like a bomb went off. It’s just intense. All of the awnings are gone, buildings are torn to pieces, roofs are missing. My neighbor had a camper top, and he has no clue where it’s at. It disappeared. So, we’re just gonna take it one day at a time and get things back to normal,” said Kirk Blosser, the owner of Renew and Recycle.

City employees said they'll be in the area for days to come, and they're asking people to avoid the area.

The Pinellas Park Police Department says they'll only be allowing the essential workers who need to be there, down the road.