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Tropical Storm Debby Pounds Pass-a-Grille


Pass-a-Grille resident Tony Howe was sitting in his living room watching television when he heard a deafening sound.

"All of a sudden I heard this very loud noise like a freight train," Howe says.

"I was trying to get up from my chair and all my windows blew out and the glass shattered all over my apartment and hit me."

Howe's was one of 20 homes and businesses to be damaged by wind and by water. Florida Fire Marshal spokesperson Ernie Hand says at least eight buildings were severely damaged.

"In 13 years, this is the worst I've ever seen," he says. 

Jill Hetrick says she saw a tornado hit.

"I seen the funnel go around all my chairs and my table, my table is about 40 pounds, it was just spinning."

She says the tornado crossed the street bringing with it her table. It then ripped the roof of her neighbor's house.

"It was just spitting everything out everywhere."

Tony Howe spent the night picking glass out of his arms, legs, and feet with tweezers. He says he's thankful, it wasn't worse.

"It didn't get in my eyes. It got everywhere else." 

Pass-a-Grille residents are expected to remain without power for 24 to 72 hours.

Sarah Pusateri is a former multimedia health policy reporter for Health News Florida, a project of WUSF. The Buffalo New York native most recently worked as a health reporter for Healthystate.org, a two year grant-funded project at WUSF. There, she co-produced an Emmy Award winning documentary called Uniform Betrayal: Rape in the Military.
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