Tampa waterspout causes damage, comes ashore on Harbour Island

TAMPA - A waterspout crossed northern Hillsborough Bay Tuesday morning, hitting Harbour Island.  Because it moved over land, the waterspout then technically became classified as a small tornado, according to forecasters.

It caused damage and frayed nerves.

A chunk of roofing was quickly found in the road near One Harbour Place.  It wasn't immediately clear where the twisted piece of metal came from.

A group of bank employees said they took refuge in the vault when they heard a "loud noise" and likened it to the often-referred-to freight train.

"I opened the window, I opened the shades up and I see there is heavy wind and for literally about six or seconds seconds, it was like the breath of God came down. 

The next thing I knew I saw a piece of a palm tree and that whole piece of roofing that you guys see over there.  I see that, just flying off.  All the trees are pretty much like horizontal to the ground and for a second I was like, 'what's going on over here?' " said Harbour Island Hotel guest Adam Page.

Other damage was reported on the waterside area of Harbor Island and in the area surrounding The Florida Aquarium to the east.

The National Weather Service believes the system was a waterspout that formed between 11 and 11:30 a.m. and moved east 45 at mph.  Once over land, it technically became a small EF0 tornado before moving on.

No injuries were reported.

 

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