Cleaning up after Vero Beach tornado

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - An E-F-0 twister cut a path of destruction right through yards on Southeast 22nd Street in Vero Beach Shores, ripping apart trees and damaging homes. Fortunately, the people who live there are OK; however, some of the damage is extensive and what the storm destroyed in seconds is going to take months to repair.

Ariana Ciasca knew something was wrong before the storm even struck when her 5-month-old puppy, Bella, started acting up.

"She started crying about 10 minutes before it actually happened."

Ariana heard the storm before she saw what it did.

"It was really scary because it hit our roof," she said. "It actually slid across our roof so I didn't know what it was. I thought our roof caved in at some point."

It turned out not to be their roof. It was their neighbor's metal shed, wrapped completely around a tree in her front yard.

"It looked like a UFO or something landed in our yard."

The same twister crossed the street, lifting the roof right off a home and tossing it onto the back of the house and into a neighbor's backyard.

"I was quite shocked to see this," said Realtor Craig Von Kohorn, who has the home listed for sale.

He said no one lives in the home, but with daylight coming in and water on the floor, it's no longer exactly marketable for the homeowner.

"We don't know if we have to take it down to the ground or if we can rebuild," he said.

Florida Power and Light sent at least six trucks to the area to repair a downed power pole, restore electricity and trim trees, but with so much rain, one of their trucks got stuck in the muddy ground.

While utility crews were working, Robert Robb already had his generator running. He said he's thankful this tornado missed him and his neighbors, but he'll never forget what he heard or how fast it was upon them.

"Just a roar," he said, describing the tornado. "They say if you hear roaring, take cover. There wasn't enough time to take cover. Maybe five seconds. That was it."

FPL said most of the power was back on in Indian River County by 4 p.m. when utility workers installed a new power pole to replace the one that had been knocked over by the storm.


Print this article Back to Top