The National Weather Service says the Highlands County tornado that left a young mother dead Sunday was recorded as an EF-2, with wind speeds reaching upwards of 120 mph.
That was the most violent of seven tornadoes that touched down in our area during Tropical Storm Debby, the NWS confirmed in its report, which also included two in Polk County and one in Pinellas.
A tornado that hit in the Winter Haven was also an EF-2 and reached wind speeds of up to 120 mph. It caused damage to 17 homes in its path and put down power lines on the eastern part of the city.
The NWS said tornadoes were recorded in these locations: Hardee County east of Bowling Green (EF-0); Highlands County in Venus (EF-2); Highlands County in Lake June (EF-1); Polk County near Thompson Nursery Road (EF-1); Polk County near east Winter Haven (EF-2); Pinellas County in Pass-A-Grille (EF-1); and South Lecanto Road (EF-1).
The tornado in Pass-A-Grille began as a waterspout and moved on shore and left damage, the NWS said.
A tourist rental building was destroyed and caved in the side of the local marina. There were no injuries reported, though.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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