EF-2 tornado rips through Polk County, Florida as Nestor passes by


POLK COUNTY (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to assess the damage left behind by Tropical Storm Nestor, specifically the tornado that touched down in parts of west and northwest Polk County.

The National Weather Service said the tornado registered as an EF-2 with max sustained winds of 120 mph.

The sheriff’s office said the tornado initially touched down near the Lakeland Linder Airport, and moved in a north, northeast direction.

Mt. Tabor and surrounding streets sustained damage to structures, power lines, and numerous trees. According to damage reports received by the sheriff’s office, the tornado is believed to have continued up the Kathleen Road corridor, causing damage to Kathleen Middle School and numerous surrounding buildings.

Fortunately there haven’t been any serious injuries reported to the sheriff’s office or fire department as a result of the tornado.

“Thankfully, we have not had any reported serious injuries related to the
‘long track’ tornado that touched down in our unincorporated areas in
northwest Polk County last night,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “However, there are many people dealing with damage to their homes and property this morning- some of it severe.”

The following list is a collection of calls the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received Friday night and early Saturday morning, giving an insight to path the tornado may have taken.

11:10 p.m. Vehicle crash; 1-4 between Polk Parkway and Memorial Blvd. Semi was pushed over by the wind and collided with another vehicle.

11:19 p.m. Electric lines down; Old Tampa Highway and Clark Road.

11:21 p.m. Tornado damage to a house (windows blown out), barn, and garage near Timberlake Road E. in Kathleen.

11:25 p.m. Tornado damage to houses in the area of Bella Vista Street West and Walker Road in Kathleen. Trees are down in the area.

11:26 p.m. Trees down on roadway near Polston Road and Mt. Tabor Road.

11:27 p.m. Roadway obstruction near Knights Station Road and Galloway Road; Electric lines down, power pole snapped.

11:28 p.m. Power lines down near Clark Road and New Tampa Highway.

11:31 p.m. Tree on and through roof in Manor Loop.

11:34 p.m. A mile of tree blockage on roadways near Kathleen Road and Tom Bryan Lane.

11:35 p.m. Power lines down, roof damage, trees down, damaged homes on Publix Road between Mt. Tabor and Sunnyside Drive in Kathleen.

11:44 p.m. Power lines down on Valley Farm Road.

12:03 a.m. Tree down on Ariana Street and Southern Avenue.

12:04 a.m. Trees down on Chart Prine Road; damage to pool screen, carport, and shed.

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