Pace residents continue clean up after powerful storms

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PACE, Fla. (WKRG) — Pace residents are still working to clean up after powerful storms tore through the Santa Rosa County town Saturday morning

In the Pace Mill Creek neighborhood Tuesday, trees could be seen twisted and snapped. Fences were toppled over and trampolines sat mangled on curbs. 

Many residents said the storm was startling and made it hard to believe a tornado didn’t touch down in the area. The National Weather Service says it was straight-line winds that caused damage to the neighborhood. 

“I’m from Philadelphia and I’m used to hearing subway trains. That’s what it sounded like and that’s what I thought I was hearing,” said Pace resident Vaughn Withers. “I heard something crash. I came out my back door and everything that was up here on this patio was down there.” 

Withers shared photos with WKRG New 5’s Daniel Smithson of his barbecue grill sunken and on the bottom of his pool. Withers’ patio furniture could be seen in photos thrown around the patio. 

A 50-pound weight had also been pushed into the pool and caused damage. Withers said he hopes he never has to experience weather like that again. 

Down the street, Ali Bedard said the storm took her by surprise. At one point Saturday morning, her husband told her a trampoline had broken through their screened pool enclosure. Bedard said he tried to help mitigate damage to the home during the storm. 

“(The trampoline) wasn’t budging. The wind was coming really hard,” Bedard said. “I can replace the screens. We can replace the enclosure but we cannot replace (him) so I was just worried about getting him inside.”

Anne Bassett said she was awoken Saturday morning to her appliances sounding off, heavy rain and wind. 

“I was woken up by all of our appliances just going on and off. They make these really annoying noises and otherwise I wouldn’t have woken up,” Bassett said. “My phone didn’t go off. No emergency alerts or anything.

“I saw some tree limbs down and the swing set had blown from the backyard all the way up to our patio. The slide and ladder had broken off of it and some fence was down. It was pretty crazy.”

Bassett was grateful a tree limb that snapped a few yards from her home did not cause any damage.

“I don’t know what happened but by some miracle it didn’t hit the house. It twisted and broke off and it was this giant limb just falling right in front of the porch.”

Residents in the neighborhood are counting their blessings as they clean up the mess left behind. 

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