CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (WFLA) — A tornado cut a path of destruction in Crystal River just before 2:30 a.m. on Thursday.
One business was just recovering from Hurricane Idalia and had its grand reopening slated for this weekend.
That was until Mother Nature delivered this latest blow.
Dive shop manager Don Markham drove up to Crystal River Kayak and Dive Shop in utter disbelief.
“When you finally were able to see this, what was the first thing that was going through your head?”, 8 On Your Side reporter Nicole Rogers asked.
“I started crying,” Markham responded. “I put my whole life into this shop for the last few years.”
The roof of his building was ripped off, his work van was flipped over, and debris was scattered everywhere.
This comes just hours after he finished moving everything back in after recovering from the damage Hurricane Idalia left behind.
“For everything that we went through with the hurricane, to have this happen right on top of us, it’s heartbreaking,” he said.
Just this weekend, he and his team were planning their grand re-opening, only to find disaster struck again.
This time, it left their dive shop completely in shambles.
“Just utter destruction,” he described. “[Like] a bomb went off.”
“The walls are about ready to fall in, the ceiling is gone,” he continued. “It’s a demolition site, [like] somebody came in here with a wrecking ball and destroyed the building.”
“Have you ever seen anything like this in Citrus County?”, 8 On Your Side reporter Nicole Rogers asked.
“Not in Citrus County,” he replied. “I’ve seen it in Iraq when I was over here with the military.”
“I haven’t seen destruction like this since the war,” he continued.