Cleanup continues after EF-0 tornado hits Lake Nona community



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An EF-0 tornado touched down in the Isle of Pines community in Lake Nona Saturday, and Monday, the cleanup continues for dozens of families.      

Orange County was under a tornado warning for several hours Saturday afternoon, and heavy rains and strong winds pounded the area.

There were reports of damage throughout Lake Nona, with debris scattered through the streets, damaged cars and uprooted trees.

Officials said the tornado that touched down was embedded in a narrow zone.

The storm itself traveled more than 20 miles, but the areas of damage are in smaller stretches of less than five miles.

While officials determine if the narrow zone goes any farther east, residents have started cleaning up.

“I thought we were going to lose our roof for sure,” said Isle of Pines resident Debbie Myer.

It was just before 3 p.m. Saturday when Myer heard a loud roar.

She looked out the window and saw tree branches all over her neighborhood.

“It looked like missiles flying. My husband yelled, ‘Tornado, I think, get in the closet.’ So we all scurried, five of us, into the closet,” Myer said.

When the family came out they found a huge tree on their roof.

Emergency management crews surveyed the damage and said it came from an EF-0 tornado.

“This time of year is our most dangerous time of year, from about February through April,” Spratt said.

Myer’s neighbor’s mailbox was knocked down during the storm and a large oak tree was uprooted in another resident’s driveway.

Another one of her neighbors said her well was demolished.

Six miles west of Isle of Pines, straight-line winds are being blamed for extensive damage.

“We’ve got a lot of soffit damage under the eaves of the house, and it pulled some insulation out and kind of coated our house with insulation,” said resident Harrison Wheeler.

The winds knocked down signs and damaged new construction.

Officials said everyone escaped major injury, thanks to doing the right thing and taking cover.

“They heard the warning and they knew what to do,” Spratt said.

Phone and Internet service is expected to be out for some time.

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