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Waterspout near Gandy Bridge startles motorists

BY Rick Mayer
TBO.com staff

Published:   |   Updated: June 19, 2013 at 04:55 PM

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A waterspout distracted and dazzled motorists crossing the bridges over Old Tampa Bay just after lunchtime Wednesday afternoon.

For about 15 minutes, the spindly funnel dangled from a storm cell between the Gandy and Howard Frankland bridges.

"I caught it when it was first forming. It was amazing how quickly it formed," wrote South Tampa resident Sherry Wolfe in an email. She saw the waterspout while approaching Gandy Bridge during her lunch break from her job in Largo.

A trained spotter for the National Weather Service provided an official sighting north-northwest of MacDill Air Force Base. There was no damage reported from the waterspout, which stayed over water and sputtered out about 12:45 p.m.

The brief weather show was televised live by Bay News 9 and sparked a litany of social media photos from layman observers in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

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