Floridians Begin Cleanup After Powerful Christmas Storms

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Cleanup began today across Florida and relief workers offered help after a band of storms damaged hundreds of homes where people celebrated Christmas.

At least two tornadoes touched down in the state yesterday as a squall line produced by a deep low pressure system moved across Florida and southeast Georgia from the Gulf of Mexico, dumping several inches of rain.

One confirmed tornado hit the Daytona Beach area, where high winds tore portions of the roof from three apartment buildings and caused extensive damage to many of their 240 units. It was an F-2 tornado, which has winds of 113 mph to 157 mph.

The wind also hurled an airplane through a building wall at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, causing a fire. About 50 other planes at the university were also damaged by winds that snapped off their wings and caused them to overturn.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)