Vero Palm Estates residents piece back homes after tornado ravaged neighborhood

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Randy Sorenson is an electrician. His co-workers are coming to his rescue now after a tornado peeled back his roof in Vero Palm Estates. It's off 82 nd Avenue, near Route 60 in western Vero Beach.

"I was sitting on the bed. I heard nothing. The windows came in. All the glass all over me. I walked around in the glass and then got my shoes on and started checking the neighborhood because there's a lot of elderly here on the street," said Sorenson.

The exterior of his home, the roof, the tree in the backyard, and his vehicle all had damage.

A roof tarp and plywood can cover the scars for a while, but Sorenson and residents of more than 30 damaged mobile homes in this area will be reeling for a long time to come.

"It blew the top of the truck. It's gone. Blew the windows out," Sorenson said.

In Vero Palm Estates, the tornado's winds ripped siding off of homes, tore portions of roofs away and blew personal belongings across yards. It twisted building materials around palm trees. One home lifted off its foundation and landed several feet away.

Vero Palm Estates, Paradise Park and Countryside, all those communities were suddenly ravaged by a tornado spawned from Tropical Storm Isaac. But luckily, no one was hurt.

"As far as a natural disaster, this particular tornado is in fact the worst that we've had since the '04-'05 storms," said Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar. "Although we have had some tornadoes, this has been by far the most devastating. "

Barbara Borgia is walking around Vero Palm Estates under a blue umbrella, making sure her neighbors are okay. She's one of the lucky ones who was unscathed by today's violent weather. Now her heart goes out to her neighbors who must pick up and move on with their lives.

"It's really scary in two seconds, what can happen, you know?" said Borgia.

Randy Sorenson knows and must now figure out how to rebuild a life turned upside down in an instant.

Print this article Back to Top