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Severe Storms Bring Tornado Warnings, Damage To Tampa Bay Area

At least one person was injured and there were several reports of property damage when a line of severe thunderstorms moved through the Tampa Bay area on Friday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for several parts of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Hernando counties. There were reports of potential tornadoes touching down in a number of those locations. The National Weather Service will have to confirm those reports.

The warnings, which are issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by the radar, started going into effect around 3 p.m. as a line of severe thunderstorms came ashore.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reported one person with a minor injury from storm damage northwest of Starkey Road and Park Boulevard in Seminole.

Seminole Assistant Fire Chief William Morelli said a number of homes in the Seminole Country Green condominium complex, as well as several mobile homes in the nearby Conrad Mobile Home Park, were damaged by a possible tornado.

"We've got some damage to some property, mainly roofs, a couple holes, the clubhouse back there for the one condominium area has some extensive damage to the roof itself, but there were no injuries," he said.

Residents in some of those homes are being offered temporary overnight shelter from the Red Cross.

The tornado warnings were initially issued for Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs and parts of Pasco County and then moved into the Oldsmar and Tampa areas.

At one point, there were warnings in place for several areas in Tampa, including the university area in Temple Terrace and an area around the interchanges of Interstate 75 and Interstate 4.

Some schools held off on dismissing students until the weather rolled through.

By 6:30 p.m. about 36,000 people were still without power in the Tampa Bay area.