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Several Port St. Lucie homes damaged by possible tornado

'It looks like a war zone,' resident says
Tree down in Port St. Lucie neighborhood after storms, June 9, 2022
Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 08:54:45-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Strong storms that hit Port St. Lucie on Thursday afternoon damaged several houses and left a mark across parts of the city.

Officers were called about 3:45 p.m. to the 100 block of West Caribbean in the Spanish Lakes Golf Village after reports of a possible tornado.

The St. Lucie County Fire District reported a dozen homes had significant damage with about a hundred sustaining light damage.

WATCH: Resident describes storm damage

'Looks like a war zone': Homeowner describes strong storms in Port St. Lucie

Resident Scott Macgraw, who lives in the neighborhood, explained what it was like when the storms blew threw.

"It was thinking it was microburst, but I can tell you when you go down the street here, a lot of my neighbors, man, it looks like a war zone," Macgraw said. "No homes are leveled but several are damaged — missing carports, missing pieces of roofs, siding blown off, and it was scary."

Macgraw, who was busy Thursday evening helping neighbors clean up, said the sounds from the damage were particularly deafening.

"I heard the first transformer go out," he said. "It was very loud, and then I heard a chain of explosions going off from either transformers or other things."

Some residents told WPTV that tree limbs fell through their roof, causing rain to come into their homes.

Carports, sheds and many branches were ripped apart. One large tree branch fell onto the roof of resident Wilfredo Cotto's home.

"Apparently, it started to leak, that's why the Sheetrock, I had to cut it out, so that way I could let the water fall straight because it was running all over the place," Cotto said.

Cotto said the large branch fell on top of his son's room, causing the damage.

Wilfredo Cotto, Port St. Lucie resident impacted by storm damage, June 9, 2022
Wilfredo Cotto describes the damage to his home following severe weather on June 9, 2022.

"I literally got a hole in my son's room, and I've got the buckets there just catching the water," Cotto said.

At least five families were displaced because of the damage, according to St. Lucie County Fire District Chief Nate Spera.

"Based on the damage we're seeing, I'm sure it's probably likely going to be deemed a tornado," Spera said. "A lot of times we don't even see the funnel cloud. All we see is a deterioration of conditions until we get winds in excess of 70 or 80 mph."

The National Weather Service has not confirmed that a tornado hit the area.

Storm damage in the Spanish Lakes Golf Village in Port St. Lucie, June 9, 2022
Homes were damaged in the Spanish Lakes Golf Village in Port St. Lucie on June 9, 2022.

First responders were working Thursday to set up a staging area for residents who may need a place to sleep.

"When the cell came through here ... the way it was described to me was as bad as any hurricane they had seen," Spera said.

The fire chief said one person had to be taken to an area hospital after being injured while cleaning up after the storm. Spera said he did not think anyone was hurt during the storm.

Neighbors said those displaced are staying in the neighborhood clubhouse. They said residents have also been out helping clean up debris, even offering those in need a place to sleep.

The American Red Cross was also at the scene helping those in need.