Tropical storm targets Northwest Bradenton

Posted at 8:03 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 11:15:44-04

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Hundreds in Northwest Bradenton were reeling from an unexpected wake up call from the Gulf of Mexico.

"It just happened fast, and it blew and blew and things were toppling," says resident Susan Goldfarb. "This one they downplayed, and I've never seen anything worse."

Emily made landfall on Anna Maria Island around 11:10 am Monday, the exact same time a tornado warning was issued for this section of Bradenton near 9th Avenue NW.

"The last time I saw something like this was the no-name storm... but more trees down now... it's pretty bad," says lifelong resident Kenny Ervin.

Dozens in the area were left cleaning a mess of branches in their front yards, and without power to their homes.

"Blew the transformers up on the pole back there, and across the street it was pretty serious," says Michael Grossberg, pointing to the power poles behind his home and across the street.

Down the road, wind twisted the roof of Geraldson's Farm Market, scattering crates and fruit near what used to be the food prep area.

Those wind gusts also peeled the roof off of the 40-year-old warehouse at Orban's Nursery, as owner Marty Orban and three others took cover.

"We sent everybody home because of the lightning, and we were working around here, and all of the sudden it just got crazy," says Orban.

While no injuries have been reported or serious damage to homes, people in this part of Manatee County agree this was one of the worst storms in recent memory.

"I've never seen anything like it in all the years I've been here," says Orban.