BOCA RATON, Fla. (Palm Beach Post
) -- When Wina and Dave Burns moved down three years ago from the Baltimore area to open their patio furniture shop at 3150 N. Federal Highway, they knew, of course, about Florida and hurricanes.
But then the sky grew dark Thursday afternoon, and the wind began furiously flapping an “OPEN” sign attached to their plate glass front window. And outside, the sky turned a milky white, so white the Burnses couldn’t see the buildings on the other side of the highway. This was a weather event they hadn’t counted on.
“The rain was going like crazy,” Wina said. “We saw it (the sign) just take off. I was going to the door and my husband said, ‘Back off! It’s a tornado!’ I honestly thought it was ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”
Friday morning, Dave was sweeping broken glass. He’d had some 35 pieces on display, lined up across his outdoor porch: chairs, lounges, glass-top tables. In less than 20 seconds, they all had been swept out into the parking lot — one putting a big dent in Dave’s car.
“It was like a vacuum,” Dave said.
And then there’s that giant patio umbrella that, well, they can’t find anywhere.
Furniture in the back didn’t fare much better; “it looked like a barroom brawl,” Dave Burns said. “We even had a live wire down.”