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Tornado with 100-mph winds downs trees in New Port Richey: NWS

A line of strong to severe thunderstorms spawned at least one tornado in the Tampa Bay region.

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- A tornado wasn't on the ground for long in a Pasco County neighborhood, but it packed a bit of a punch.

The National Weather Service confirms an EF-1 tornado downed trees and power lines in the area of Atis Street and Bolam Avenue in New Port Richey.

More: At least 1 tornado, severe storms cause damage in the Tampa Bay area

It began around 8:57 a.m. and traveled about a tenth of a mile before dissipating about a minute later. Forecasters say the storm was about 25-yards wide. Although the tornado was on the weaker end of the scale, at EF-0, the damage done to one big tree was enough to raise it one more notch.

An EF-1 tornado damaged trees and downed power lines Sunday, Dec. 9, across a Pasco County neighborhood.

The weather service writes: "The majority of damage was EF-0 in nature with large tree limbs, branches and power lines down. ... One large oak tree was found to have been snapped in two different places and this was consistent with EF-1 damage in the 90-100 mph range."

PHOTOS: Strong storm down live power lines in New Port Richey

“The rain started pouring down fast, and I picked up our coffee cups to go in, and the whole tree just came and whipped around the top and fell on our cars,” neighbor Lisa Manaseri said.

The strong, 100-mph winds also ripped the roof off the Manaseri home.

"Everything's gone," she said. "So, I mean really, we've just got to pack up and figure out what we're going to do next. Because we don't know."

However, neighbors have stepped up to help in their time of need. “Our neighbors are amazing," Manaseri said.

"They've already come over with chainsaws. They've offered us their homes to stay in. My mom came over to take our food out of our freezer and our fridge because we have no power. We won't have any."

Duke Energy utility crews dispatched to the neighborhood worked for hours on power lines and trimming trees for safety, but other neighbors were also without power after the storm.

“We have kids, dogs. This is a very bad inconvenience. It’s horrible,” Jodi Schultz said.

Though the power outages and property damage crested hardships for neighbors, they all said they are grateful no one was hurt.

“I’m very thankful,” Schultz said. “I’m just glad it’s over.”

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