Girl, 17, dies in Florida storm after being electrocuted by downed power line as severe weather threats southern US

Girl, 17, dies in Florida storm after being electrocuted by downed power line as severe weather threats southern US

April 12, 2021

A 17-YEAR-old girl died on Sunday after being electrocuted during a strong storm that swept through central Florida, damaging homes and businesses.

The teenager, who has not yet been named, had been driving just north of Tampa at 12.15pm when her car struck a downed power line, Florida Highway Patrol said.

The girl stopped her vehicle – a Dodge Avenger – and the car caught fire on the driver's side.

Troopers say as she climbed out of the car, she stepped on the power line and was fatally electrocuted.

The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

No further information surrounding the death has yet been released.

The incident came amid a powerful storm that brought heavy rain, strong winds, hail and lightning across the Sunshine State.

Up to two inches of rain were reported in some areas, leaving numerous streets flooded.

A home in Mount Dora sustained severe damage after it was struck by lightning and caught fire, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Some neighborhoods close to Orlando also reported golf ball-sized hail.

The storm capped a weekend of damaging weather throughout the state.

A Saturday storm damaged about 20 homes on Florida’s Gulf Coast and injured one person, officials said.

Manatee County Public Safety said the homes were damaged by straight-line winds Saturday afternoon and not a tornado, according to the Bradenton Herald. The wind’s strength was not immediately known.

Five homes sustained major roof damage and one person suffered minor injuries, the National Weather Service said.

Earlier Saturday, possible tornadoes caused damage in the Panhandle.

In Panama City Beach, a home and convenience store were leveled by a possible tornado, city officials said in a Facebook post. A resident’s photo posted by The Panama City News Herald shows the store’s roof and walls ripped away, but its counters, shelves and the merchandise they held appear untouched. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

In Pensacola, the roof of a downtown brewery was ripped off by the storm, local news reports show. The National Weather Service has not confirmed if that was caused by a tornado, but reported winds of up to 60 mph (95 kpm).

More to follow…

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