A powerful tornado ripped through central Florida on Friday afternoon, causing widespread destruction and leaving residents in shock.

The National Weather Service reported that the tornado was rated an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds estimated to be between 136 and 165 mph.

The tornado touched down in the town of Leesburg and quickly moved eastward, causing damage to buildings, homes, and vehicles in its path. 

Witnesses reported seeing debris flying through the air as the tornado moved through the area

Local officials have declared a state of emergency and are working to assess the extent of the damage. 

So far, no fatalities have been reported, but several people have been injured and are being treated at local hospitals.

Residents are being urged to stay indoors and avoid traveling on roads that have been impacted by the tornado. 

The Florida Department of Transportation has also issued a warning to drivers to be cautious and to avoid traveling in the affected areas.

The severe weather has also caused power outages, with thousands of residents in central Florida without electricity.

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The National Weather Service has warned that severe weather conditions may persist in Florida over the next few days, residents are advised to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions