Sky turns dark as ferocious 100mph tornados batter Florida – homes ‘turned upside down’
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In one county, over 200 people were displaced by extreme weather, with four people sustaining minor injuries, officials said. The twisters caused a semi-truck to flip on a motorway and hit a power line.
In a press conference yesterday, Lee County officials said that the tornadoes had destroyed 28 homes and damaged 62 to the point they were not habitable.
The strongest of the tornadoes was an EF-2 – described as having wind speeds of between 113 and 157mph, and causing “considerable damage”.
The tornado destroyed the Tropicana RV Resort, where mobile homes were torn apart, Cecil Pendergrass, the Lee County Commissioner, said in a press conference.
The tornado also reportedly hit the Cottage Point Trailer Park.
Edward Murray told the Naples Daily News he was inside his mobile home on Sunday morning when it was picked up and thrown onto a neighbouring dwelling.
He said: “That’s my house that’s turned upside down.
“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.”
A National Weather Service report confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in Charlotte County after coming ashore as a waterspout near Gasparilla Marina in Placida.
It flipped a boat on its side, before making landfall and hitting Gasparilla Mobile Estates, where it is said to have damaged at least 35 homes.
Although no one was injured, WBBH-TV reported that the twister caused an estimated $500,000 (£366,000) in damages.
Charlotte County Public Safety said several residents have been displaced, and that a refuge centre for those affected had been opened.
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Two EF-0 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in Collier County, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees and leaving behind a trail of broken tree branches.
The first touched down in the Victoria Falls neighbourhood of Naples, before travelling two miles to Lely Resort.
The National Weather Service said that the trail of destruction left by the twisters had seen a semi-truck on the Interstate 75 upturned.
Footage from the Florida Highway Patrol showed the lorry on its side, strewn over the motorway and across the metal barrier into a grassy verge.
The National Weather Service also confirmed that there was a leaning power pole observed along the Tamiami Trail, east of the intersection with the US-29.
CNN reported that 7,000 people had been left without power following the extreme weather in Lee County.
The four tornadoes to batter south-west Florida come with a winter storm which has caused chaos across the US.
Airlines have cancelled thousands of flights as the storm moves north-east towards the East Coast.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted that he and his wife were “praying for the families impacted by yesterday’s severe weather”.
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