Tornado crosses Florida, small planes flipped over

MIAMI (Reuters) – High winds flipped over parked small airplanes and damaged hangars at a regional airport in central Florida on Thursday as a tornado and severe thunderstorms raked across the state from west to east, an airport official said.

Fire rescue officials in Polk County reported trees and power lines downed, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

A spokesman for the National Weather Service told Reuters a tornado had tracked along Florida’s Highway 60 crossing the Lake Wales area, dipping up and down, but the service was still carrying out its damage report.

The high winds and rain tore through the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport located halfway between Tampa and Orlando, where many aircraft had arrived for an air show known as the “Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in”

“We had tremendous winds, it was an unbelievable storm,” said airport director, Gene Conrad.

“We have numerous aircraft flipped over, a lot of smaller aircraft that were tied down in the grass.”

A spokesman for the fire rescue service in Polk County, where Lakeland Linder airport is located, said the storm passed through the Lake Wales area, downing trees and power lines. But he had not received reports of casualties or significant damage so far.

(Reporting by Kevin Gray and Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Jerry Norton)

Tornado crosses Florida, small planes flipped over