Adam Keenan was laying paver tiles outside a home in the Trailer Estates neighborhood when he knelt down to trim some bushes and felt wind rushing toward him.
“I’m a pretty good-size guy and it actually started to blow me over,” the 41-year-old Keenan said. “I heard all that aluminum start to rattle so I took off running.”
As he ran to the back of a home across the street, Keenan saw a roof blow off from a beige home beside the one where he had been working.
Firefighters received a call about the incident at 2:23 p.m. Thursday. Soon after, members of the Cedar Hammock Fire Department and Trailer Estates Volunteer Fire Department responded to the 1800 block of Wisconsin Avenue and found the roof two doors down.
No injuries were reported and the damaged home was vacant at the time of the storm, said Trailer Estates Volunteer Fire Deputy Chief Timothy Hillman from the scene.
“We’re trying the best to salvage what we can inside the home for the residents,” Hillman said, adding the property is a rental. “We had a little bit of damage to some other homes just from the debris going over from the high wind.”
A chunk of insulation from the roof also ended up on a pole across the street. It was later removed by Florida Power & Light workers.
As firefighters wrapped the damaged home in crime-scene tape, the roof lay crumpled two doors down in front of a gray home with blue window shutters. Some neighbors stopped and stared at the roof.
Keenan said he wasn’t sure if a tornado blew through the mobile home community, but he did see clouds rotating past him.
“Thank God I got away from it ’cause like I said, I felt the wind coming. My brother felt the temperature change drastically — it was like 98 degrees out here and it dropped down to 75,” Keenan said. “That’s when I took off running to get away from it. ... I know that you don’t want to be where the wind is strongest in this park.”
Sue Buckenberger, 66, said her mother-in-law, who is in Ohio, owns the damaged home.
“I was sitting at the dining room table right here and I just heard this large, horrible rumble. I thought the roof was going to lift off the place,” the retired accountant said as she sat at her seasonal home beside her mother-in-law’s property. “Well, it did, except it was next door.”
Buckenberger said she felt numb.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said.