tampabay.com

Storm wreaked havoc through the bay area

By TIMES WIRES
Published April 16, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG

A storm racing through the Tampa Bay area Sunday morning brought heavy rain, high winds, scattered power outages and more than a few headaches.

In St. Petersburg, winds sheared part of a cinder block wall at the Cash America Pawn shop, tearing a hole in the roof about 9:30 a.m. The shop, at 1291 34th St. N, was closed and no one was injured.

An hour later, slick roads in Tampa caused a man to lose control of his car and slide into the Hillsborough River at 2713 N Riverside Drive., police said. The incident was minor and the man was uninjured.

In Clearwater, a gust of wind toppled a 50-foot maple tree at Allen's Creek Park. Pasco County had no reports of major damages, other than minor flooding.

Residents phoned in reports of a funnel cloud over central Pasco County, but there were no immediate reports of a tornado touchdown, said Russell Henes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin. Winds were estimated up to 60 mph.

In the Polk County, a tornado damaged a mobile home park in Dundee but caused no injuries, authorities said.

The tornado touched down near the Del Lake Village mobile home park and damaged some homes, said Dundee Police Department operator Rebecca Garcia.

GIBSONTON

Woman dies after car drags her 300 feet

A woman was struck by a car and killed at the entrance of the Tidewater Mobile Home Park early Sunday morning.

At about 5:30 a.m., 45-year-old Candace Boedecker either jumped in front of or fell into the path of Jason Hartman's 1993 Chrysler. The car dragged her body for about 300 feet, Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies say.

The 18-year-old driver from Riverview stopped, which dislodged the body, then drove to a gas station three-quarters of a mile away and phoned the Sheriff's Office. Deputies told him to return to the scene.

Hartman returned to 8004 Gibsonton Drive within a minute and gave deputies a blood sample. Toxicology tests are pending. No charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.

TREASURE ISLAND

Fire badly damages treatment facility

Firefighters spent several hours fighting a blaze at a substance abuse treatment facility Sunday that was sparked by a grease fire.

No one was injured in the fire, which started about 3:53 p.m. at 12305 Third St. E, said Treasure Island fire Lt. Tim Michael.

The roof was destroyed, and there was smoke and water damage inside, Michael said.

The home is owned by Matthew Schwarz of Gulf Coast Recovery Inc., a substance abuse treatment program.

The four-bedroom Island of Capri home is part of a legal battle between the city and Schwarz. Treasure Island officials are trying to stop Schwarz from renting neighborhood homes as residences for the clients in his treatment programs.

Firefighters from Madeira Beach, St. Petersburg, Seminole and South Pasadena also responded.