Two grandparents die, four children injured in Florida storms
Two grandparents were killed and four children injured in Florida early on Sunday when severe storms gusted in from the Gulf of Mexico, spinning off at least two tornadoes, local officials and the National Weather Service said.
Steven Wilson, 58, died when a twister destroyed a mobile home with seven people inside in Duette, Florida, about an hour south of Tampa, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said.
Kelli Wilson, 51, escaped with their son and grandchildren. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital, said Dave Bristow, a spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
She suffered a heart attack, the Bradenton Herald reported.
The four grandchildren – two boys and two girls between the ages of six and 10 – were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.
One of the children was severely injured, the National Weather Service’s Tampa office reported, confirming that a strong tornado blasting winds up to 127 miles per hour (204 kph) had touched down in the area around 3:30 a.m. ET (0830 GMT)
Another tornado was reported further south on Florida’s west coast in Siesta Key, according to the weather service.
The storms dumped heavy rains and blasted strong winds across the state’s central Gulf Coast, but conditions were improving during the day on Sunday.
(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Ros Russell and Alan Crosby)