Possible tornado sweeps through St. Petersburg, leaves trail of damage

Possible tornado causes damage across St. Pete
Posted at 11:16 PM, Apr 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 19:22:55-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Powerful winds caused damage in Pinellas County after a possible tornado swept through the area Sunday afternoon. 

Most of the damage occurred along 11th Avenue South and 14th Avenue South in St. Pete. 

"We got lucky on this one, it could have been worse," said William Keaton. 

The winds sent trees toppling over onto three homes and caused several close calls. 

"All I remember is a very dark shadow came over the house, very, very dark," said Kathy Smith, whose home was damaged Sunday. "My husband and I ran back there and the tree was split in half."

One limb ripped down electrical lines, sparking two fires in the Smith's backyard. 

The Smith's tell ABC Action News, they repeatedly warned the City of St. Petersburg about the dangers surrounding the tree on their property. 

"If they would have let us cut this tree down, the city, this wouldn't have happened," said Kathy Smith. "We've been asking to cut this tree down forever." 

Duke Energy crews spent several hours in the neighborhood working to restore power to several homes. 

The Smith's have been forced out of their home due to the damage. 

"Mother nature, you can't blame her," said Kathy Smith. "What's done is done."

The National Weather Service was on site Sunday afternoon trying to determine if the damage was caused by a tornado.