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Neighborhoods assess damage as tornadoes rake across Southwest Florida

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Posted at 8:59 AM, Jan 16, 2022

Crews from Southwest Florida emergency services and the National Weather Service are surveying damage left by a string of severe storms Sunday morning that prompted several tornado warnings.

Late Sunday night, the NWS confirmed five tornadoes hit the area. The storms ranged from EF-0 to EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

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Viewer photos and videos submitted throughout the morning depict large rotating funnel-type clouds in areas including Fort Myers Beach and Iona/McGregor. Viewers also submitted photos and videos showing downed trees and overturned vehicles.

The areas hit the hardest were Summerlin Road, Old McGregor and Kelly Greens. There have been four reported injuries. Residents whose homes have been destroyed, which are a reported 28 homes, are being transported to a shelter. An additional 68 homes have been deemed unlivable.

At the storms' height, Florida Power & Light reported more than 15,000 Lee County customers without electricity.

Florida Highway Patrol reported what appeared to be a large tornado cross I-75 near mile marker 100 just after 9:30 a.m. Around the same time they responded to a large semi-truck that overturned near mile marker 96. Minor injuries were reported.

Charlotte County officials responded to overturned boats and other debris at Gasparilla Marina and the neighboring Gasparilla Mobile Estates.

Most damage has been done to homes, with businesses only suffering minor damages.

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