People in western Florida braced for another day of severe weather on Thursday after two tornadoes touched down overnight, National Weather Service officials said.
“We’re expecting another round of potentially damaging winds and isolated tornadoes again in the Tampa Bay area and north,” said Stephen Shiveley, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. Hazardous weather was expected in the area, with conditions expected to improve by the evening, he added.
The severe weather, which struck the area around Tampa Bay and north of Tampa around 2 a.m. on Thursday, damaged two houses but caused no injuries, the police in Clearwater, Fla., said on Facebook. The Citrus County School District closed its schools for the day, and about 16,000 customers in Florida were briefly without power, according to poweroutage.us, which aggregates data from utilities across the United States.
A tornado watch was in effect for northern and Central Florida until 3 p.m. on Thursday, the Weather Service said. In Melbourne, Fla., in eastern Florida, the storm’s biggest threat was winds of 50 miles per hour, the Weather Service said.
“We’re still expecting the tornadoes to continue through this morning,” said Cassie Leahy, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Melbourne. The threat from strong, gusty winds will continue through Thursday, she said, and the threat of tornadoes would ease later in the day.
The severe weather overnight downed power lines and trees, and caused flooding, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, which said that several roads in Crystal River, Fla., were closed because of “extensive damage.”
In Clearwater, a woman was asleep in a bedroom when a wall and the roof crashed on her, the Clearwater Police Department said in a post on the social media platform X. The woman was not injured, the police said. Photos shared by the police department showed uprooted trees, damaged cars and streets littered with debris.