TAMPA, Fla. — The National Weather Service confirmed an EF 1 tornado caused a large tree to fall over on a daycare building Thursday afternoon.
The NWS said the tornado had a 1/4 mile path and 100mph sustained winds.
According to St. Pete Fire Rescue, calls about trees coming down started around 12:10 p.m. Thursday, including one that fell into All Children’s Academy, the preschool and daycare attached to St. Vincents Episcopal Church.
The church, located on the 5400 block of 9th Avenue North, houses a preschool where the tree fell.
“I’m really thankful to the teachers, they acted quickly and kept all the kids safe and called us right away. They were taking all the right steps to make sure everything was ok and I’m sure they were terrified. So I have a really heavy heart for them and my babies who had to experience that,” said Kimberly Smith, a parent who has two small children who attend All Children’s Academy.
St. Petersburg Fire Rescue said severe weather moved through early Thursday afternoon causing damage in the area.
Other crews also assessed multiple homes in the city for further damage from the severe weather.