Tropical Storm Nestor Batters Florida; Tornado Leaves Thousands with No Power

tropical storm Nestor
National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Nestor and a tornado battered Florida on Friday, destroying a middle school, overturning vehicles on a highway, and leaving nearly 10,000 Floridians without power.

The tornado touched down in Polk County near Tampa, which caused an 18-wheeler to overturn on Interstate 4 and hours of traffic backup to clear the accident. The occupants of both vehicles escaped the crash without injuries.

The driver of a second overturned truck was taken to a local hospital, WTVT reported.

Bay News 9 reported that the tornado and the tropical storm’s high winds also caused severe structural damage to Kathleen Middle School, which had its roof partially blown away by the storm.

Roofing, shingles, and bricks covered the lawn of the school early Saturday along with blown over trees.

WFLA reported that there is no word yet on the estimated cost of the damage to the middle school.

No injuries were reported in that incident. Several homes in Pinellas County also suffered some structural damage due to the tornado, according to WFLA.

Lakeland Electric reported nearly 10,000 customers without power due to the storm.

Tropical Storm Nestor developed in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday and lost its tropical status Saturday as it heads towards Florida’s coastline.

According to the National Weather Service, Post-Tropical Cyclone Nestor is packing 50 mph winds and threatening the state with tornadoes and rain.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that a tropical storm warning remains in effect for parts of Florida while much of central Florida was under a tornado watch until 2 p.m.

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