PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas County first responders are working to clear debris from homes and community buildings in the wake of severe thunderstorms that hit much of the Tampa Bay area on Thursday.
St. Pete Fire Rescue reported that several trees were down on two buildings on 9th Avenue North, which stretches nearly the entire width of the county.
Crews reported at least one tree down on a home and another on a church.
St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lieutenant told Garth Swingle told News Channel 8 there were no reported injuries in either incident.
“We did find that a lot of the damage didn’t injure anybody or hurt any of the homes structurally,” Swingle said. “We’re really lucky that nobody was injured.”
Photos from the scene showed large branched on the ground, and several trees uprooted or snapped in half.
“It was the most scary thing I’ve ever been through in my entire life,” one woman told WFLA’s Brittany Muller. “My son was sitting directly beside where the tree went into the window and he heard what sounded like a roaring freight train.”
The woman said the storm lasted approximately two minutes before passing.
“[First responders] are telling us that its structurally sound still, that we can live in it still, that we were lucky that it only hit the windows.”
Earlier Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for all counties in the Bay area. The watch will be in effect through 4 p.m. Thursday, WFLA’s Leigh Spann said.
Chief Meteorologist Jeff Beradelli added that a possible tornado moved across Treasure Island toward the Tyrone Mall. From there, it moved south of Lealman and weakened east of Shore Acres.
This is a developing story. Stay up to date on the latest from News Channel 8 on-air and on the go with the free WFLA News Channel 8 mobile app.