Woman suffers minor injuries as tornado hits Lake Wales home

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A tornado ripped the roof off an elderly couple’s home in South Lake Wales Thursday morning.

Al Weddle was sitting in his living room a little before 10 a.m. His wife Ellen was in the kitchen when it hit.

“Wham!” recalled Al. “The windows came crashing in on me and stuff started falling off the ceiling. It was rather frightening.”

It happened on Genesis Point Drive, just off U.S. 27. Minutes after the incident, the Weddles’ front 
yard was strewn with pieces of their roof and items from inside the house.

The Weddles live in a four-plex. Parts of the adjoining neighbors’ roofs were damaged as well.

When the Weddles came back to their senses, Al called his grandson who lives in St. Petersburg.

“Grandpa said, ‘The storm hit us,’” Ross Weddle recalled. “’I got my car wrapped around a tree. There’s water coming in everywhere.’”

So Ross and his wife Elizabeth drove over to help. Al’s wife Ellen, who was hit on the head by a flying object, was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Relatives say it did not appear that she had been seriously hurt.

“We hear that there are tornados and storms in the area, but you just never think it’s going to happen to someone you love,” said Elizabeth.

A second possible tornado east of Form Meade caused minor damage but no injuries. And lightning strikes are being blamed for two house fires in the eastern portion of Polk County, a county spokesperson added.