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Storms in Florida Kill at Least 26

February 23, 1998

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Deadly storms ripped through central Florida early today, spawning tornadoes that damaged or destroyed scores of buildings and knocked out power. Police said at least 26 people were killed.

``We’ve had so many touchdowns we can’t keep track of them,″ said Angela Braden, spokeswoman for the Seminole County sheriff’s office. ``Some people slept right through it. They woke up and their house was gone.″

Eleven people were killed in Seminole County, Braden said. Much of the damage from the El Nino-driven storms late Sunday and early today was near the Sanford airport just northeast of Orlando, but houses and mobile homes also were damaged and destroyed in other parts of the county.

At least 13 people died and 200 structures were damaged in Osceola County to the southeast, said Jeter Walker, emergency management spokesman.

``Big, big tornadoes did this,″ Walker said.

Picks up 4th graf pvs, `To the northeast ...′

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