NEWS AT A GLANCE
Multiple tornadoes touched down in southwest Florida on Sunday morning as severe storms moved through the region.
Lee County officials provide an update on storm response and recovery efforts. You can watch it in the player below or by clicking here.
Lee County officials say about 7,000 homes, or about 15,000 people, are without power due to the storms. They say that so far they have only had four reported injuries. Officials say 28 homes were destroyed in Lee County and at least 62 homes are uninhabitable.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least one tornado has been sighted in Collier County.
Winds from the Collier County storms overturned a tractor-trailer as it traveled along I-75 North, before Mile Marker 96. Florida Highway Patrol said the driver of the truck was injured. The highway has since been cleared.
Florida Highway Patrol tweeted video of the tornado as it passed over I-75 at Alligator Alley.
Tornado passed over Interstate 75 in the 96-mile marker area (🐊 Alley) in Collier County at 9:34 a.m.
Please continue to monitor weather conditions and BE CAREFUL! pic.twitter.com/bxNqzKbkOE
—FHP SWFL (@FHPSWFL) January 16, 2022
WINK News viewers shared videos of what appeared to be another tornado moving through part of Fort Myers.
Iona McGregor’s fire department says there is extensive damage in her service area. The National Weather Service later confirmed that an EF2 tornado touched down in Iona.
#BREAKING 🌪️ Southwest Florida/Iona tornado rated EF-2. Maximum wind of 118 mph on the ground for less than 2 miles. This is our first local EF-2 in 6 years (Cape Coral – 2016). @WINKNews @spann pic.twitter.com/hYTITBmjsF
— Matt Devitt (@MattDevittWINK) January 16, 2022
Some mobile homes in Iona have been destroyed. Iona McGregor Fire Department Deputy Chief Khalid Aquil estimates the storms displaced 150 to 200 people.
In Iona, several homes were badly damaged by the storms that passed through the area on Sunday. These winds also damaged the Planet Fitness plaza sign along McGregor Boulevard.
The wind overturned a trailer hitched to the back of a van in a nearby parking lot.
The Iona McGregor Fire Department asks that you stay off the roads while crews clean up debris left behind. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno also asks you to stay off the roads.
Sheriff Marceno asks that you be patient as crews work to clear the roads of storm damage.
The Red Cross says it is working closely with emergency teams on the ground in Fort Myers to provide assistance to those in need, including helping displaced people find housing.
Wa-Ka Hatchee Park and Recreation Center in Lee County is where the Red Cross asks you to go first if you’ve been displaced or need assistance due to storms .
Charlotte County winds also caused extensive damage in its wake. Video by WINK News viewer Nicole Conway Coy shows damage in the Holiday Park village community.
Charlotte County Public Safety says a number of people have been displaced.
Charlotte County has opened the Ann and Chuck Dever Regional Park Recreation Center for those in need of shelter.
Governor Ron DeSantis took to Twitter to offer his prayers for those affected by the storms. He says Florida Division of Emergency Management response teams will be available to help.
.@FLCaseyDeSantis and I pray for the families affected by yesterday’s inclement weather at SWFL. @FLSERT immediately dispatched a response team and my administration will do everything in its power to bring resources to the families.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 16, 2022
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