Storm Clean Up Continues

Tampa, FL -

Residents of San Antonio in northeast Pasco County are still cleaning up and totaling the damage from the Christmas day tornadoes. Pasco County Emergency Management officials now say 93 homes were damaged or destroyed on Christmas morning. They are estimating the monetary damage will be more than a million dollars.

There were no serious injuries as the storm touched down about 11:30 on Monday. The unusual wintertime F2 tornado, packing winds of at least 125 mph did most of its damage at the Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club, a retirement community near I- 75 and State Road 52. State emergency officials and representatives from FEMA toured the 15 hundred home community yesterday.

Strong tornadoes touched down in at least 3 other parts of the state on Monday, but there were few injuries attributed to the storms.

The weather system blowing in from the Gulf also brought torrential rains across the state. The National Weather Service says nearly 6 inches of rain fell Sunday night and Monday morning, the most rainfall on Christmas Day in north Florida since 1897.

In Tallahassee, the Florida Supreme Court building is still drying out this morning from heavy rains that seeped into the building's basement where hundreds of valuable books and records are stored. The building's maintenance supervisor says moisture often seeps into the basement during storms and says the court has lost about 11 thousand books this year, at a cost of about $22,000.

During the spring legislative session, lawmakers passed a 2 and a half million dollar measure for repairs to the Supreme Court basement to prevent further flooding, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Bush.

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