Friday, February 02, 2007
Weatherman's mom reports on Florida devastation
A classic El Nino event occurred in Central Florida overnight. It was a devastating event for some in Lake, Sumter and Volusia counties.

Around 3 a.m., a rotating thunderstorm developed in northern Sumter County. It was strong enough to drop a tornado in the southern part of The Villages retirement community.

The storm continued across the town of Lady Lake and ended many miles later in Deland. Damage appeared to be caused by an F2 tornado which would classify it at 120 mph to 150 mph. The National Weather Service will survey the damage and make its assessment.

Judging by aerial pictures and reports from the ground, many homes were completely flattened. How so many people survived will make stories for week to come. This storm track, though, was personal for me.

My parents live about 5 miles from the devastated neighborhoods. At 5 a.m., I called my mom to ask if she was OK. Her answer, "Why?" She didn't even know about the damage that had occurred so close to her home. Most of Central Florida does not have tornado sirens.

At daybreak, I asked her and my dad to drive around and check for damage. They were stunned by what they saw -- lives torn apart only a few miles away.

Reporting on this devastation took on a new importance. So many times, as a reporter, you just describe the damage and how it occurred. But this storm was different.
Posted By Chad Myers, CNN Weather Anchor: 1:20 PM ET
  58 Comments
Most of central Florida does not have tornado sirens?! Of course this is a state whose children go to school in mobile "classrooms," so perhaps this kind of cavalier attitude is only to be expected.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Columbus, Ohio : 1:35 PM ET
I think your Mom did an awesome job this morning reporting on CNN. I know for you the worry and stress until you talked to your parents was awful. Thanks for doing such a good job everyday. My mornings are not complete w/o you.
Posted By Anonymous Shontell Fayetteville, AR : 1:41 PM ET
I live in the Tampa Bay area and the storms came through here this morning before hitting central Florida. I have lived in Florida for over 20 years and have experienced everything from hurricanes to extreme severe thunderstorms. The storm that passed here in the wee hours was very eerie and quite frightful. My prayers go out to the victims of this frightful storm.
Posted By Anonymous Loretta, Tampa Florida : 1:47 PM ET
Anyone I know living in Florida likes to brag about how wonderful it is to be living in Florida. Is it really so wonderful?
Posted By Anonymous Julia, Grand Rapids, Michigan : 1:50 PM ET
If it's safe for them to be out then I say great additional info. My Dad is 72 and I know he would love and welcome the possibility of sharing what he sees.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea, Jacksonville, FL : 1:50 PM ET
Chad,

I saw your report this morning and I just wanted to say I thought you did great. I was so impressed with how you kept your composure despite having something so awful happen to your parents. Keep up the good work! My thoughts and prayers are with your parents and the people of central Florida.
Posted By Anonymous Ashley, Louisville, Ky. : 1:59 PM ET
Hi Chad,
your mummy sounds so nice and lovely. I hope your family is okay. I pray for those who lost their homes.
Posted By Anonymous Subira Pontiac MI : 2:00 PM ET
Chad, I am so glad your mom and dad were ok, I live in oklahoma and know the devastation these tornados leave behind.It might be prudent to buy one of those little weather radios to use whenever a storm system might be coming in, they can catch you unaware, I know that well. Rita, Okla.
Posted By Anonymous Rita McDonald, Clayton, oklahoma : 2:00 PM ET
I lived in Texas during my childhood, and we would frequently get tornado watches, and sometimes even warnings. One night we received a tornado warning, and like always, packing into the first floor bathroom.

It turned out that the tornado touched down not even 100 yards from us. The street about a block away was devastated, so I can understand the unknowing when things like this happen.

I'm glad Chad's parents turned out to be OK.
Posted By Anonymous Justin W, Raleigh NC : 2:00 PM ET
As someone who lives in Tornado Alley, I can understand listening to wind and rain pounding outside while you are lying awake trying to decide if it's safe to roll over and get some sleep or not. I have a NOAA weather radio which does help give you a little piece of mind, but it can only warn, it can't see what may be hiding in dark, rain filled clouds at night. I've spent many a spring and summer night searching for any sounds that weren't normal. I don't think you can ever be prepared for a tornado though. They come so fast that even with warning sirens, you don't have time to do anything more than get to the basement. That's if you can hear the sirens above the wind. It's a game we play every spring and summer with Mother Nature. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.
Posted By Anonymous Lee Fairfield Iowa : 2:01 PM ET
Reporting this story was different because it was so close to your Mom - it became personal - a part of our hearts is always with our Mom. Glad your Mom's fine.
Posted By Anonymous Larson, Kansas City MO : 2:03 PM ET
Chad, so happy that your Mom and family here in Florida are ok. I guess you understand all so well how weather events can hit a little too close to home. Thank you for your fine reporting and thank your mom.
Posted By Anonymous Linda Riskus, St. Augustine, FL : 2:07 PM ET
Does there seem to be a trend here??

Note to self: NEVER move to the Gulf Coast...EVER!
Posted By Anonymous Ralph, Malvern PA : 2:07 PM ET
Yes storm was personal. It cut quite a swath right through retirement haven. We have several family members in it's path. There were no sirens in my mother's community. This is the second time this year. Again on Xmas no sirens and our whole family wrapped up in the moment unaware of the seriousness of the storm.
Posted By Anonymous D Smith Omaha, NE : 2:10 PM ET
I've watched you all morning, you have been so informative about all the aspects of this story. I agree about the weather radio. I've got one like you've shown on tv and it could easily make a difference in being able to get ready quickly.
Posted By Anonymous Dave Voiles, Pensaacola, Florida : 2:13 PM ET
Chad - Having lived through a tornado that devastated my home several years ago, I watched with great interest this morning as you reported on the central Florida damage. Your mom did a marvelous job of reporting and added a more personal sense to what had gone on. I'd like to add that she sounds like a delightful lady!
Posted By Anonymous Ellen Taylor, Ft Walton Beach, FL : 2:14 PM ET
My folks are the same - they live on SE 89th Keating Terrace and had no idea what happened so close to them. I am thanking God for sparing them, but my heart goes out to the families who have lost everything. It's especially sad that The Villages is a retirement community and that these are people retired and trying to enjoy their lives and just lost everything they have - seeing people dig through their rubble for scraps of once meant something to them is just terrible. I am glad your mother was spared and my prayers are with the people who have been impacted by this disaster.
Posted By Anonymous Patti, Dover NH : 2:17 PM ET
This storm was terrible news. I'm sorry for those who had a loss. I made a similar call to my daughter in Florida this morning. Here is an idea for the National Weather Service. Set up a web link that a person with internet access could sign up for that would trigger an alarm on their home computers when there is a weather event that people should wake up to protect themselves against. Or, have radio frequency trigger fire alarms in peoples homes just like they would wake up for a fire. Of course I think someone would have to invent that but it seems feasible. I mean you can plug in a special radio, why not do it with the web or with an alarm trigger right in a persons home. Well that is my brainstorm for today
Posted By Anonymous Polly DeLange, Parma, Ohio : 2:20 PM ET
Chad, My parents live in the Villages. My mom said the woke up in the middle of the night to the house shaking from thunder and the ligtening was like a strobe light. She and my dad got dressed just in case they had to evacuate and then promptly fell back to sleep!
Posted By Anonymous audrey, tallahassee, florida : 2:24 PM ET
I understand what you went through this morning. My father was near the Twin Towers on 9/11. My heart sank to my feet, until I was able to reach him. He also let me know what he saw that day, over the phone. Glad to know that your parents are ok.
Posted By Anonymous R.Leydon Queens,NY : 2:25 PM ET
My grandmother lives just south of this area. It is a sad sight of devistation. Most as you said didn't even here it arrive or depart.
Posted By Anonymous hb, Pensacola Fl : 2:30 PM ET
Florida still hasn't learned their lesson from the tornado's that ripped through this area in 1998 killing over 40... they said then buy a weather radio. I am from the mid west, where there are sirens. We need them mandated in this state or it will happen again
Posted By Anonymous Kelly, Orlando FL : 2:31 PM ET
Listening to the broadcast I got the impression your parents lived near the Villages. I have been trying to reach my father but cannot get through. Would your mother happen to know if the original section of the Villages was hit?
Posted By Anonymous Rick, Richmond VA : 2:33 PM ET
As I watched your reporting of the event on American Morning this am, I was immediately struck by the opportunity that presented itself to engage someone you knew (your parents in this case) that could provide a wonderfully detailed analysis from a side we rarely see in the media. It added a very human dimension that most reporters are not able to provide. In their zeal to communicate quickly, most reporters ask the salient question about what it means to the person that experienced the trauma, but the conversation seems staged. This conversation was wonderful and full of depth.

Although I currently live in the Piedmont of North Carolina, I spent a long time living in tornado alley in Kansas. I have an amateur radio license, volunteer for communications support with the county office of emergency management, and have been a storm spotter. It would be great to figure out how to get more personal reporting into the national news media, and this morning's effort clearly helped us understand why. Great job!
Posted By Anonymous Vincent Francisco, Greensboro NC : 2:41 PM ET
I watched you and your mother this morning. She reminded me so much of my mother and she was precious when she apologized for turning on the WC instead of CNN and quickly followed it with "but you weren't there yet". In that proud mother way. You did a great job in reporting the details, but we could tell that it really hit close to home since you had just been there a few weeks ago. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your mother with us. Great job as always.
Posted By Anonymous Molly G., College Station, TX : 2:41 PM ET
I live in Central Florida, and I did wake up briefly because I heard rain and wind, but I went back to sleep thinking it was just another rainstorm. What is scary is that if a storm like this with tornados approaches in the middle of the night, how are you supposed to know if you are sleeping? I don't think there are any sirens anywhere around where I live.
Posted By Anonymous L.S., Oviedo, Florida : 2:42 PM ET
My brother John and his family live just west of the Villages, at the Sumter/Lake Co. lines, on 5 acres of country property on a hill surrounded by venerable live oak trees. He reports that around 3AM he was awakened by lightning flashes, awoke his children and wife and they proceeded to go around the house unplugging all appliances and computers (our family are FL natives and accustomed to the dangers of pop-up storms). Seeing how deeply the old oaks were bending in the wind, my brother opened a window and heard the "trainlike" roar of the wind and knew a tornado was near but he couldn't see anything. He didn't have time to move his 4 kids, wife and 2 dogs into an inner closet and quickly figured out the thing had passed close and the immediate threat was gone. The family went back to sleep and John is out on the road today, as I write, working to restore telephone service to the many area residents (he works for Embarq, formerly Sprint).
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, Atlanta, GA : 2:51 PM ET
My parents, grandmother and godfather--in short, my entire immediate family-- also live in the Villages, FL. My mother woke up at three in the morning (on her birthday, no less) to the sound of water rushing in through their patio windows.

I was greatly surprised to turn on CNN this morning and see miles of flattened houses with the headline "The Villages, Florida" stretching across the screen. Chad, your personal connection to the storms actually calmed me a bit as I frantically tried to get in touch with my family. Thanks.
Posted By Anonymous Maggie, Washington DC : 2:59 PM ET
Habing lived in Michigan all my life we are used to tornadoes, but you never know when or where they will spring up. One moment it can be a hot, muggy late spring or summer day and the next the sky will turn black and sometimes green and you know that something is going to happen, and you pray it doesn't.

Tornados can level one side of a street and not the other which is another scary thing. One of the worse tornados happend in the 60's on Palm Sunday and many people lost their homes. Since then warning sirens have been installed throughout the state and are tested the first Saturday of the month. And as much as the noise may hurt your ears or make your dog howl we know that not hearing it could make things much worse.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren Mi : 3:01 PM ET
We live in the southern part of The Villages, and were fortunate to have no damage while neighbors just a block away had windows blown out and roofs torn off. Homes in our neighborhood are only 7 months old.
Posted By Anonymous Roger & Kathy Mayer, The Villages, FL : 3:15 PM ET
We took heed of the El Nino warnings (of our local weatherman Tom Terrry) and purchased a weather radio this year. While we were fortunate enough to escape the wrath of both the Christmas storms and the one last night, I knew that they were happening because our radio alerted us. It went off three times this morning as the different weather reports were issued. Everyone should have one of these radios...it could save your life!!!
Posted By Anonymous Linell Ela, Winter Park, FL : 3:18 PM ET
Chad,
Where did you get the idea that this was a "classic El Nino event?" As all of us meteorologists (should) know, El Nino is a global cycle, not a discrete and localized event. While this event may debatably be linked to an El Nino cycle, it's inaccurate to say it's an "El Nino event." Overuse of buzz words like this skew the average viewer's idea of general weather phenomena and are an example of fear mongering (for lack of a better term) that we don't need at this time.

Yours truly,
A Fellow Weatherman
Posted By Anonymous Barry, Suffolk VA : 3:25 PM ET
Hey Chad,.
Glad your parents are ok. I saw some footage of the destruction. It's always devastating to watch. In a few minutes, your life as you know it is gone. To be waken by a tornado must be behond frightening. There's a lot of retired people in Florida. I hope they'll be able to salvage their homes or get back on their feet as fast as possible.

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 3:28 PM ET
Chad, You are my favorite meteorologist - and I understand. My parents bought a new home in the Village of Carolina last April, so they are a block away from some of the destruction. They are fine, had power as of this a.m., and no damage to the house. But they cannot go more than a block down their street. This is devasting. Mom was quick to reassure me that the rest of their snowbird flock nesting down there for the winter have checked in and are safe. But wow! This storm is different - my parents were just plain lucky this time around. For my dad, this was cat life number 2 (gunpoint robbery years ago).
Posted By Anonymous Ginger, Wilmington, DE : 3:32 PM ET
I feel the same way as you. I moved recently to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from the Florida Space Coast. It was tough for me to hear the news this morning and not be afraid for my friends and family in Central Florida. I lived in Florida for 22 years and I never saw anything like this happen. I just pray for those who lost loved ones so suddenly.
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca M.- Picayune, Mississippi : 3:32 PM ET
My mom lives in The Villages, about 4 blocks from the area devastated. I didn't even know about the storms until she called me this morning. I'm glad to have been spared the worry.

She is fine. Last night she had friends for dinner. They live in the Mallory sub-division. They heard the tornado about 3 this morning. They took shelter in their closet and are ok. But many in their neighborhood have lost everything. They said it is like a war zone.

To Rick in Richmond: The part of The Villages hit is the Mallory sub-division. My mom is in the sub-division next to that; Virginia Trace.
It is not the original area of the villages.

I pray for all those affected by this devastating storm.
Posted By Anonymous Cathy, Dacula Georgia : 3:34 PM ET
Chad, I am glad your family is safe and pray for those who lost their lives and their families. It is so very sad to think that those poor people went to sleep like everyone else did last night expecting a normal tomorrow, and look what happened! I recently moved to Tampa from New York last June, and have to tell you was quite frightened to have experienced the severity of the thunderstorms in this part of the country.. Living in New York State for the majority of my life, I had always had the snow to deal with, but at least you know WELL in advance that a snow storm is coming. It's a much different story with a tornado.
Posted By Anonymous Suzanne, Tampa, FL : 3:43 PM ET
Every section of this great nation has a natural disaster they have to worry about. Winds/fire in California, blizzards in the north, tornadoes in the Midwest, drought in the desert Southwest, hurricanes in the Gulf coast. Questioning why someone would want to live "anywhere" is idiotic and selfish. Be careful who you pick on...your community may be next.
Posted By Anonymous Diane, North Palm Beach, Fl : 3:44 PM ET
I live about 30 miles from the main areas of tornadic activity, and when I woke up this morning I was shocked to see what happened. But having lived in Florida for only 2 yrs, I will still say that it is the best place to live by far...sorry Ralph in Malvern, I'm originally from Philly and I would take florida anyday. And Julia from Grand Rapids,MI as Marcia mentioned, tonadoes also occur in MI so yes, Florida is still a wonderful place to live! ...despite the tornadoes, hurricanes and gators :)
Posted By Anonymous Michelle, Orlando, FL : 3:45 PM ET
To Chad's Mother: You Go Girl! Will you be reporting to us live tonight?
Posted By Anonymous Missy, Fairfield, CT : 3:47 PM ET
Chad, you and your mother did a wonderful job bring the realism of Mother Nature this morning. However one of the most touching and heartfelt moment, before we learned of our fellow citizen deaths, was your reflection of your parent's radio warning not being properly set. Your concern was felt and the grimace on your face was seen. You are blessed to have your parents and to have kept them this morning. Praise the Lord.
Posted By Anonymous Dawnita Redd Ironton, Oh. : 3:47 PM ET
Hi Chad,

I'm very happy to hear that your parents are safe. My heart goes out to all who are affected by this horrible tornado.

I don't think most people realize just how vulnerable Florida is to tornados. I saw the narrow path of devastation after the St. Patrick's Day tornado in Venice, FL, years ago. I understand that the devastation in the Lady Lake area is 20 sq. miles.

As of last fall the Punta Gorda, FL area was still cleaning up and rebuilding from Hurricane Charlie in 2004. Thanks to Anderson for returning to New Orleans and the Keeping Them Honest reports we know that area is far from being cleaned up or rebuilt. Actually, is it even on it's way toward rebuilding after Katrina in 2005? Now there is such wide spread devastation in Central Florida but we have to wonder if FEMA, etc. will come forth and help these residents in a more timely manner?

Chad, we miss you in the Detroit area but luckily we can tune in CNN in the morning and hear your reports. Thank you for explaining about this tornado and why it caused so much damage.
Posted By Anonymous Patricia, South Lyon, MI : 3:47 PM ET
An email from my mother, who lives in the affected area:
Boys, please let me know if you are okay. I heard the storm was going through your area now.



When I first ventured out to work this morning, the police would not let me out until they finished the house to house search. About a mile from our house, up on Forest Drive, about 5 mobile homes are gone. I mean down to the ground gone! 5 people died on our street. Some of the people were sleeping when the tornado swept through. You will not recognize the street. There are no trees, just trunks sticking up out of the ground. There are no telephone poles or power poles left. Horses and dogs are missing. Most of these people will never recover. One man was cowering in his bathtub and the next thing he knew he was in the neighbor's front yard. So scarey.



The good news is that our house is untouched. I just can't believe that we have no damage. You have my cell phone number. I will try to call you later tonight.



I finally came to school at 9:45 a.m. There are six students here. Don't know why they didn't cancel.



Needless to say, Richard and I are thanking God for our lives.



Please let me know that you are safe.



Love, MOM
Posted By Anonymous Kyle Raker, Orlando FL : 3:51 PM ET
Chad,

What a great report this morning and I really enjoyed your Mom. Plus, I learned an awful lot from your continued reporting. I'm going to have to get one of those radios. I live in North Florida myself. Again, thank you. You're the BEST! And your mom is a real treat!!!
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Jacksonville, Florida : 3:52 PM ET
For those of you posting about not having audio warnings in the area: It will never happen. The geography of the state makes it impractical. What IS practical is a weather radio with battery back up. Mine went off twice last night and I quickly realized the severe weather was far enough away to go back to sleep. They should be in EVERY household in the state. They should be as common as smoke detectors. Living in Florida, you learn that what Mother Nature gives us here in beauty, she balances out with wrath. It's a fact of life here. If ya can't accept it, take I-95 North.
Posted By Anonymous Norm, Palm bay, FL : 4:01 PM ET
Chad: I didn't turn the TV on at 6:30 this morning, but slept a little longer. When I turned it on around 9, the scene looked like an outdoor toothpick factory and somebody said 'Central Florida.' The counties didn't sound familiar--my parents live in Hudson on the Central West Coast. I ran to the internet and CNN on line to see what I could find out. I e-mailed my mom, once I knew they were out of the devastation. When I saw a rerun of your conversation with your mom, I started to tear up. I knew how you must have felt and she sounded so warm and 'mom like.' It is sad that there are so many weather possibilities down there and yet there are so many of our seniors in the middle of it. Still, I could see my father, too, at least holding the camera as someone else---probably my mom--talked about the devastation.

Chad, I've always liked your reporting style, which is very personal, and the content of your forcasts. Sometimes, my roommate and I fight over watching CNN or that 5-letter so-called all news channel, but not when it's a weather disaster--she gives in 'for Chad and the gang'!

And there is one other thing--'assuming' your mother's last name is Myers; that's my mother's maiden name-even spelled the same!

God Bless your mother always--and you.

Always a fan.
Posted By Anonymous Gail Levi, Millington, MI : 4:01 PM ET
Great report this morning. I live in Palm Coast/ Flagler county. We got the first part of the warning starting around midnight. Thankfully our county did not have a tornado touch down.
We actually have some good come out of this storm... the rain! Our county has been one of the driest in the state and with this storm our county got a average of 6 inches of rain last night!
I do not know of anywhere in central Florida that has sirens for tornados or severe weather. Larger tornados are not very common in this state, usually if we have them they are F0 or F1.
The tornados we had on Christmas day had effected me more so as members of my family got caught in one of them while they were driving to our house for Christmas dinner. Thankfully they decided to pull off the road and seak shelter.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Palm Coast Florida : 4:10 PM ET
I use to live in Florida and I know about the state having no tornado sirens. I remember one day it had been storming all day during school and at the end of the day with seconds to spare we were all told to go to our "safe place" in the classroom as a tornado came barreling towards us. There was no siren, just the train whistle of the tornado that alerted the school that it was coming. The community across the street from the school had a lot of damage, but the school had been spared. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.

When I heard about this storm I called my friends and family down there right away. Everyone, thankfully, is fine. I'm so happy to hear that your parents are doing well too!

My heart and prayers go out to those who are affected by this storm.

And Florida, it's time to update your weather alert systems!
Posted By Anonymous Amanda, Dayton Area of Ohio : 4:13 PM ET
Why are mobile homes allowed in areas of extreme climate in the USA? I live in the Bahamas and mobile homes are prohibited here. We have a similar climate as Florida with hurricanes every year. If persons live in a hurricane or tornado zone government should mandate that homes be built of concrete block. How many devastated mobile home communities do we need to see before some action is taken?
Posted By Anonymous steve ,exuma, bahamas : 4:14 PM ET
When I turned on CNN this morning and saw the breaking news about the Tornados in Central Florida, I was pretty shocked. Being a resident of SW Florida since about 8 years myself, it always touches me when I see tragedy happen so close to home.
I myself am not home in Florida right now, therefore I rely on CNN to bring me up-to date news on my home state and Chad and everyone else have done an excellent job on keeping me informed. Thanks for all the insight information!
I pray for all the people impacted by that terrible storm.
Posted By Anonymous Elke, Bonita Springs, FL : 5:00 PM ET
What a relief for you to be able to talk to your Mom and Dad. I thought it was great that your Mom got to report for you this morning! I just flew home out of Tampa last night and we started with 30 minutes of extreme turbulence. I was greatful to get home, but I am saddened by what happen to those still in Florida. My parents lived in Florida for 20 years and I was always worried about them. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those in need today.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 5:11 PM ET
Hi Chad
I've admired your weather analysis since I first started watching CNN after Katrina. I'm really impressed the way you break it all down for us, thankyou. I'm also very happy that your parents got through this fine and I'll be praying for the others.
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada. : 5:38 PM ET
I'm originally from DeLand -- the mobile home that my grandparents owned prior to their deaths years ago was one of those destroyed at Hawthorne Hills. My father, who still owns it, said that the couple renting the home were able to escape pretty much unscathed. Amazing, considering the destruction evident in the news footage and images.

Regarding tornado sirens and the like: as someone else pointed out before me, the geography and population density of much of that area (especially the more rural Lake County and north/central Volusia County) doesn't make it a practicality. However, making good weather radios readily and *cheaply* available is CRUCIAL to ensuring that sufficient warning of tornadic activity in those areas is given.

Perhaps a collaborative program between the state and federal emergency management agencies and local power companies to provide inexpensive or FREE weather radios to lower income households might be the difference between life and death.
Posted By Anonymous Tracy, Nashville, Tennessee : 5:50 PM ET
I was pretty devasted when I watched the report today. My heart goes out to all the people affected by the storm.May god bless them.
I haven't been to FL before but I am all set to move to FL in a few days on a long term job assignment. I hope I play it safe with Mother Nature

AC 360 crew and Anderson, thanks in advance for tonights coverage , I love your show.
Posted By Anonymous Pushpa, Dallas, TX : 9:54 PM ET
Our hearts go out to all. Not looking for stories to comment on, looking for a number to call for info. Friend lives in Lady Lake on Magnolia Street.
Posted By Anonymous kim, cooper city, fl : 11:03 PM ET
Great coverage CNN! I live about half an hour from the damages in Volusia County. My heart goes out to all of those affected. I know, I was awake until 6am this morning, as I could not go to sleep with the warnings out. My eyes were glued to the television all night! I agree, in my 45 years here in FL, last night's storm was plain "strange". I have never witnessed such torrential downpours...it was unreal! I agree, too, every part of this great country has its drawbacks...in FL, we have "liquid sunshine." People know of the weather patterns we have here, however, tornadoes this time of the year are rare. There is a price to pay for life itself...and, far be it from me to question the reasons. It is very, very sad, however. My heart goes out to those that lost loved ones and all they have worked so hard for. God Bless.
Posted By Anonymous Dede, Ormond Beach, FL : 12:11 AM ET
I have lived in Central Florida all my life and do not own a weather radio. I'm going to get one today. Severe thunderstorms are part of living in FL and many native Floridians have never seen a weather radio! I'm in my thirties and noticed them for the first time at Radio Shack while Christmas shopping last year.
As for the poster who doesn't feel that FL should let their residents reside in mobile homes, get real...FL was developed as - and still is - a retirement state! Couples save all their lives to be able to buy a mobile home in Florida...obviously you have no idea what has happened to property values around here. If you take away the option of mobile home and trailer park living you lose a major factor in FL's economic stability.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, St. Cloud, FL : 2:43 AM ET
Can someone Help me I'm in Minnesota trying to get in touch with my Mother?

Does anyone know the area around SE County 42 1 mile west of highway 27 442, in the villages by the wallgreens? My mother lives on SE 96th Chapelwood Circle.
Please any info would be nice. the tv keeps showing the same 3 homes and areas over and over again
Posted By Anonymous Carl in Stillwater, : 7:49 AM ET
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• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007
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