Floridians share experience after Tropical Storm Nestor brings tornadoes

SEMINOLE, Fla. (WSVN) — Tropical Storm Nestor weakened significantly as it moved across Florida. Now residents are cleaning up the mess it left behind and restoring power.

Tropical Storm Nestor made its mark on Florida’s west coast.

The storm was downgraded Saturday.

Thousands of homes across the state were left without power.

Bad weather stretched from Fort Myers to Tampa Bay, up the panhandle. A tornado forced people at a mobile home park in Seminole to take cover.

“It just sound like a big old train coming,” said one resident. “I looked out the door and everything was just blown every direction. I just slammed the door and hung on.”

“The bed started shaking in the trailer, and I thought, ‘Uh, oh, we’re on our way to Kansas,'” said one resident, “’cause it was really bad and banging and crashing. Well, you can see all the stuff around here. It was just scary. I was never so scared.”

One driver captured flying debris that hit her windshield. The remnants of the storm hit parts of the Gulf Coast before the winds died down.

Fire officials warned everyone that being careful is key.

“Power lines may be down, so be cautious,” said Seminole County Fire Rescue Department Chief Heather Burford. “We always warn people that all lines should be considered live.”

There were downed powerlines, storm surges and reports of possible tornadoes touching down in some areas.

“Called my wife and said, ‘Tornado, let’s head for the closet,'” said Norman Bradney whose home was damaged. “We were just about in the closet when we heard a tremendous boom, and I think that’s when the top of the second story just took off.”

One tornado was so powerful that it flipped a semi truck on its side on Interstate 4 near Lakeland.

The driver is OK.

The town of Mexico Beach was devastated a year ago by Hurricane Michael. This time around, they were largely spared.

About 100 miles east, residents in Saint Marks are thankful they avoided a direct hit.

“I thought it was going to be worse, and I’m thankful it ain’t,” said one resident.

The storm then headed to Georgia where the National Weather Service issued two tornado warnings for possible twisters in the southern part of the state.

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