Thursday night storm rips roofs, downs trees in Temple Terrace community

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TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (WFLA) – Residents in a manufactured home community in Temple Terrace were awakened by Thursday night’s violent storm.

Winds blew through Lamplighter on the River, ripping roofs from homes and downing trees as Hillsborough County was under a tornado warning.

Jeima Troche told 8 On Your Side the winds “got crazy” and houses were shaking. She believes there was some “rotation” in the area, but tornado activity has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service.

Troche was caring for her baby before the severe weather hit. It was so strong it toppled a tree outside the window where he was sleeping.

“I had just put him down to lay down when the window popped. I had to run in there and my husband went in there and went and got him,” she said. “Scary. I got a panic attack. I fell on the floor and everything and I couldn’t breathe. My daughter had an anxiety attack and the ambulance had to [come] and help her out and stuff.”

Johan Gonzalez was watching news coverage of the storm when the tornado warning was issued.

He said it happened around 11 p.m. He and his wife started seeing lights flicker and heard noise.

“We got a phone call from our neighbor. She said, ‘oh, your roof is gone.’ We started seeing leaks inside the house. So the best, when it cooled down a little bit, we just kind of ran with the kids inside our neighbor’s house,” he said.

Though they are shaken and cleaning up, residents in the community are safe.

Gonzalez is thankful for the neighbor who gave his family shelter.

“As far as our wellbeing, we’re okay. Our house has a little bit of leaks and the roof is pretty much gone, but the most important is that we’re all okay,” he said.

“We’re fine. We’re fine right now,” Troche said. “We’re just trying to work and see what we’re going to do with the whole situation to cut down the trees and get them off the sheds and stuff.”

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