Friday, September 21, 2007

Twister Slashes Through Central Florida

Update: So far, no injuries have been reported, although almost two dozen homes were totally destroyed and at least three dozen more damaged. People launched a door to door search overnight to check on residents.

Power is out in sections of three counties. Shelters are opening for those who lost their homes or had them too damaged to live in. In Eustis, a small town, some looting has been reported.

I lived in Florida for many years. Eustis, Florida is slightly northwest of Orlando, a popular tourist destination. It's not far from Disney World, Epcot, and Universal Studios.

The weather patterns have definitely changed. Although I've ridden out many hurricanes and tropical storms, I truly can't recall a tornado. Recently, Florida has been beset with a number of tornadoes every year.

And, like the famed U.S. Tornado Alley, that twister-prone area that spreads across several states, there now seems to be a developing "Tornado Strip" within the Central Florida area.

Severe weather, including a possible tornado, damaged about 50 homes, shearing the entire second story off one home, authorities said Friday.

Radar indicated a tornado spun off from a storm system that crossed through central Florida before spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, touching down late Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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