Confirmed tornado strikes eastern Boca Raton neighborhood

Storm left a half-mile path of damage behind

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A tornado touched down in parts of eastern Boca Raton Thursday, leaving a path of damage measuring nearly a half mile.

Officials with the National Weather Service surveying the scene near the 3000 block of North Federal Highway say two homes and two businesses sustained damage.

"All of a sudden, without warning something swept over us," said Taylor Godsey, an employee at Bike America on North Federal Highway.

When the wild weather moved through, the estimated 70 mile-per-hour winds tossed a large sign into the air and across the property.

"We got lucky compared to next door," said Godsey.

Next door, Carrie Perillo was cleaning her patient's teeth when the tornado cut right through her dental office.

"We saw things flying and got everyone away from the windows," said Perillo. "Thank God, everyone's ok."

No injuries were reported, but the dental office was heavily damaged by both the tornado and also the crushing weight of inches of rain on its flat roof. Parts of the roof caved in, leaving a wet and dirty mess inside the office.

Dan Gregoria, a meteorologist with the Miami office of the National Weather Service moved in with his team before nightfall.

"Visually, taking pictures, routing it, plotting it, tracking it," Gregoria said, describing how he was surveying the area. The National Weather Service confirmed that this was an EF-0 tornado.

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