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Cleanup continues at Rainwood Circle residences after Palm Beach Gardens tornado

Part-time resident drives from Connecticut to help with cleanup efforts
Posted at 12:23 AM, May 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-02 18:46:40-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Lester Stark was on cleanup duty Monday.
"I was out this morning from about 11 o'clock 'til 1 and then I went and got another saw," he said.
A tornado ripped through his Rainwood Circle neighborhood Saturday in Palm Beach Gardens.

 "I heard wind blowing and then I went to the living room here and looked at what was going on," he said. "Next thing I know, my tree came down. I said, 'Oh, it's a tornado,' and then I ran back, grabbed the dog and went to the bathroom."

Rainwood Circle resident Lester Stark uses chainsaw to cut down broken tree branch damaged by tornado, May 1, 2023
Rainwood Circle resident Lester Stark uses a chainsaw to cut down a broken tree branch damaged by the tornado, May 1, 2023, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Stark said the tornado didn't last very long. His neighbor had her garage door trashed by a tree branch.

The damage was visible Monday in the Rainwood Circle neighborhood. There were piles of tree branches, cut trees, houses with missing shingles and the occasional downed tree.
During the tornado, Patrick Corona was home in Connecticut. He got a call from his neighbor in Florida. Within a couple of hours, he had gone to Home Depot and was on the road, driving 1,300 miles to see his property in person.

Patrick Corona drove from Connecticut to his home in Rainwood Circle community after tornado, May 1, 2023
Patrick Corona said he drove overnight all the way from Connecticut to help repair the damage to his Rainwood Circle home caused by the tornado, May 1, 2023, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

"It was 1 o'clock in the morning, drove down here and got here at 8 o'clock last night," he said. "Cleaned up inside the house. There was glass all over and now we're working on the fence."

The fence was nearly gone. He also had a window blown out, leaving pieces in the wall and a skylight missing.

"It was pretty much what I expected because the two neighbors went in the house," he said. "They put tarps over the roof and the window."
Meanwhile, Stark said he's thankful no one was seriously injured.

"Just a mess, thank God, you know," he said. "Lost some trees, but what can you do?"