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Widespread damage after winter storm spawns multiple tornadoes in Florida, U.S.

florida-tornado-damage-january-16-2022

A major winter storm affecting the eastern United States spawned multiple tornadoes in southwestern Florida on Sunday, January 16, 2022, destroying at least 28 homes and damaging others. In addition, at least 7 000 homes were left without power in Lee and Collier counties.

Lee County officials said at least 62 homes are currently unlivable after the county was hit by an EF-2 tornado at 07:35 LT on Sunday morning. The tornado may have completely destroyed 30 of 108 mobile homes near Fort Myers, according to a preliminary damage survey by the National Weather Service (NWS).1

Four people suffered minor injuries.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado tore through three mobile home communities in Iona: Tropicana, Point Breeze and Century 21.

One county assessment said 27 homes were destroyed, 24 suffered major damage and 14 had minor damage.2

The tornado was on the ground for about 5 minutes, traveling a distance of 2.9 km (1.8 miles). The damage it left was about 114 m (125 yards) wide.

This was the strongest tornado to hit Southwest Florida since January 9, 2016.

An EF-1 tornado was reported in Charlotte County, north of Fort Myers, damaging 35 homes. This tornado was on the ground for over 1.6 km (1 mile).

As of 20:30 LT, the NWS confirmed 5 tornadoes touched down in Southwest Florida — 1 EF-2, 1 EF-1, and 3 EF-0.

References:

1 Florida tornadoes destroy dozens of homes, leave 7,000 customers without power – CNN

2 A tornado near Fort Myers reached 118 mph and destroyed dozens of homes. Here's what we know – News-Press

Featured image credit: Twitter@rsmcqueary

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