Severe weather in Southeast damages homes, cars

Published 10:38 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ENTERPRISE (AP) _ A line of severe storms swept across the Southeast on Wednesday, spawning a couple of tornadoes that blew out car windows and knocked down tree limbs and power lines.

No injuries were reported.

In the Florida Panhandle, a tornado ripped through several neighborhoods, damaging homes and businesses near a state park in Panama City. In southeastern Alabama, an apparent tornado touched down in Enterprise, causing structural damage to the city’s civic center. About 2,600 homes and businesses in the area were without power during the height of the storm.

The destruction hit not far from the former location of Enterprise High School, where eight students were killed on March 1, 2007, when a tornado spun into the building, collapsing the roof and walls on students huddled in a corridor.

The administrator at a local community college where most of the students now attend classes said the latest storm caused some tense moments as the students were moved to safer areas.

“Everybody did a good job,” said Terry Spicer, who is also a state legislator. “Certainly the people were concerned and on edge considering what happened in the past.”

Coffee County Emergency Management Agency Director John Tallas said there was a seniors group meeting at the civic center when the storm hit, but luckily no one was hurt. A number of cars, however, were damaged in the parking lot.

Other nearby counties in the mostly rural area reported roofs being torn off and other structural damage.