‘I heard a sound of a big huge train:’ Residents describes experiencing EF-2 tornado in DeLand

Crews will survey damage from storm on Wednesday

DELAND, Fla. – The storms that ripped through parts of DeLand destroyed homes along Boston Avenue and Compton Court but thankfully no one was injured in the twister.

Ofelia Curcio said she was sitting in her sunroom around 3 p.m Tuesday when she heard powerful winds and rain.

“My husband said did you hear that and it was like a roaring noise,” Curcio said.

In a matter of minutes, she said the severe storm battered her entire neighborhood.

“Next thing he says is to move it we got to get out of here then we went in the hallway and hid,” Curcio said.

Across the street, a similar scene played out with Kristen Fellion and her roommates.

“We ended up hearing the loud storm and then we all just kind of panicked all at once because the winds got heavy,” Fellion said.

Her roommate’s car couldn’t escape damage either.

“We lifted up the garage window and our garage was totally destroyed,” Fellion said.

National Weather Service survey teams have confirmed the damage in DeLand Tuesday was that of an EF-2 tornado.

Bradley Monroe was home alone when the tornado touched down.

“I heard a sound of a big huge train and I was like ‘Lord have mercy’,” Monroe said.

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Storm damage in DeLand

While the damage is profound Curcio said she is grateful for the comfort of supportive neighbors.

“You hear all the people on television talking about what happened to them and you never think it will happen to you,” Curcio said.

Debbie Cassidy lives on Washington Avenue, her home and her neighbors homes were also damaged by the twister.

When it started, she says she started praying until it was over.

“I prayed harder that five, ten minutes than I’ve every prayed in my life and the lord got us through,” Cassidy said.

After it had ended, Cassidy described the aftermath as a “war zone.”

The roof of her neighbor’s home was gone but Cassidy said she was lucky with very little structural damage to her home.

“My brother had three huge sheds in the backyard. All gone. He found two of his boat motors down the block,” Cassidy said.

Peter Lowenstein, lives on North Pine Street. His mother-in-law’s home damaged and he estimates it will take time to make repairs but he is thankful to be alive. The south half of his mother-in-law’s home is missing a roof and her bedroom is mostly gone.

“I’m alive, we’re alive,” he said. “Thank God for that.”

Lowenstein said like Cassidy, prayer and belief kept his mother-in-law safe.

“She’s the kind of person that really believed in the lord and the lord put hands up for her when she needed it,” he said.