Violent storms hit Florida on Christmas
Rain, wind destroy 2 homes as gloomy weather front hits Southeast
The Associated Press, Dec 25, 2006
LAKE CITY, Fla. - Powerful storms damaged at least a dozen homes as heavy rain and strong wind swept across the Southeast on Monday.
The worst damage was near Lake City, about 60 miles west of Jacksonville in northern Florida, where Columbia County authorities said two homes were destroyed and at least 10 others were damaged by what may have been a tornado.
"It's amazing we don't have serious injuries or deaths," Columbia County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Laurie Windham said. "We are incredibly blessed today."
Windham said one person was treated for cuts. The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for the area Monday morning.
In Pasco County, along the Gulf coast north of Tampa, a roof was blown off a home and some trees were knocked over, with one briefly blocking a county road intersection in New Port Richey, sheriff's deputy Doug Tobin said.
The Tallahassee area was swamped by rain, with more than 5 1/2 inches falling at the regional airport, the most there on a Christmas Day since 1897, National Weather Service meteorologist Ron Block said.
© 2006 The Associated Press