“Significant” damage along Cactus Street in Tallahassee after tornadoes ripped through trees and downed power lines

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Entire neighborhoods are still struggling to recover from Friday's tornadoes.

The National Weather Service pointed to “significant” damage along Cactus Street in southwest Tallahassee following the storms. Three days later, it still looks like a war zone, and neighbors tell WCTV that the entire landscape has changed.

The hum of chainsaws was omnipresent Monday as workers used wheelbarrows and even shopping carts to cart out what tree stumps and branches they could find. The pile of rubble in front of Lisa Hornbuckle's house is just as tall as she is.

“We worked on it for a few days. It's very tiring, but I'm just grateful that we're all OK,” she said Monday as she piled branches along the road.

Hornbuckle says she and her family were at home, huddling in the laundry room when the tornado ripped through them.

“I think we did more damage from that than the hurricanes,” Hornbuckle said. “A lot of trees fell during the hurricanes too, but nothing compares to this.”

A few houses away, Elias Sittig took a short break to clear debris from his property. He is still stunned by what happened.

“The tornado just came through. Everything got dark, really dark and the house started moving and you could feel the pressure changing when you were inside,” Sittig said as he described taking cover in the hallway.

Even though branches pierced his roof in two places, he's grateful that the giant tree itself somehow missed the mark.

“The tree back there was actually leaning toward the house, but it just twisted in the air and fell right between me and the other house next door,” he said.

“When I first came out after the storm, it honestly made my blood run cold because I could see all the sky that I never got to see,” said neighbor Danielle McCabe. “Usually it’s trees and now it’s not.”

A check of Google Maps shows that Cactus Street used to be a tree-lined street. Now that green canopy is no more.

McCabe picked up branches outside her home Monday and watched tree and utility crews swarm outside. She says her house flooded in the crazy rainstorm last month…and now this.

“What's next? I can't handle this anymore,” she said.

At last check, Cactus Street was still closed to traffic and homes still had no power.

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Anna Harden

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