Florida Tornadoes Leave Thousands Without Power

by Hannah Heser
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Mother Nature is not happy. Two tornadoes swept through Southwest Florida on Sunday damaging anything in their path. A recent report said the storm left damages to 28 homes and 7,000 people are currently without power.

On Monday morning, they updated the total amount of power outages to more than 180,000. The tornadoes developed through the same winter storm system affecting most of the East Coast, according to CNN. While more than 50 million people were under winter weather advisories, Florida experienced severe storm warnings.

After the storm hit, officials held a Sunday news conference where the co-chairman of Lee Country board of commissioners, Cecil Pendergrass, reported that 62 homes have severe damages.

“The twister was an EF2 tornado with winds up to 118 mph. It completely destroyed 30 of the 180 mobile homes near Fort Myers,” the National Weather Service reported.

Officials said the second tornado was an EF1 with winds up to 110 mph.

“A waterspout moved across Gasparilla sound near Boca Grande Causeway before moving ashore,” the National Weather Service added. “A short-lived tornado near Placida left at least 35 homes and a marina storage facility destroyed.”

Authorities inform that no injuries occur during this storm. Although, they strongly encouraged residents to evacuate their homes.

Additionally, the powerful storms caused thousands of flights to cancel. The news outlet also reported that airlines on Sunday canceled a total of 3,058 flights throughout the nation. As of now, flights are still canceling.

Reported Damages From Florida Tornadoes

Several Florida residents have some type of damage from the storm system. Edward Murray, who is an 81-year-old resident in Fort Myers told Naples Daily News that the storm left some damage to his property. In fact, the strong winds blew his away.

“That’s my house that turned upside down,” he said. “The tornado took me off my feet, blew me toward the East wall, and buried me under the sink, refrigerator, kitchen chairs, and everything else.”

However, Murray wasn’t the only one in the trailer home at this time. Murray and his daughter found an escape with little to no injuries. He mentioned that they were happy to see the outdoors and that he wasn’t going to let this storm take him out.

Nearby residents said they’ve never seen anything like this storm before. It all happened so fast.

Another resident didn’t have the best warning. Luckily, he and his family are perfectly fine. In order to help build Murray’s home, GoFundMe is raising $20,000. If you would like to donate, you can right here.

That’s not all Fort Myers went through. The Florida Highway Patrol found a semi-truck flipped on its side in Collier County. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in this accident. But it did involve road closures on the highway.

Volunteers are working hard to help families clean up all of the damage.

Outsider.com