JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At least six tornadoes were reported in Southwest Florida on Sunday as a powerful winter storm system moved through the state.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, five tornadoes were reported in Collier County on Sunday morning and another was reported in Lee County where an EF-2 tornado reportedly touched down. A sixth tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service in Charlotte County.
NBC2 in Fort Myers said Monday five of the tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service and the EF-2 strength tornado that hit near Fort Myers was the strongest to hit the area since 2016.
The first reports about funnel clouds started coming in early Sunday morning with a flurry of tornadoes reported from 9:20 a.m. until 9:50 a.m., according to NOAA.
The weather has quieted down after an active morning with two tornadoes in our area, one in Placida, Charlotte County, and the other in southwest portions of Fort Myers, Lee County. Here are our Preliminary Damage Surveys for these tornadoes. #FLwx pic.twitter.com/f1YUeTof6n— NWS Tampa Bay (@NWSTampaBay) January 16, 2022
NWS said the EF-2 tornado near Fort Myers that touched down in Iona at 7:35 a.m. had peak wind speeds of 118 mph, was 125 yards wide and injured three people.
In Charlotte County, an EF-1 tornado that started as a water spout around 6:30 a.m. before moving onshore had peak wind speeds of 110 mph and was 50 yards wide.
Videos of the tornadoes ripping across the area were posted on social media along with the damage they left behind.
SWFL TORNADO COMPARISON 🌪️— Matt Devitt (@MattDevittWINK) January 17, 2022
The last EF-2 tornado in Lee County was 6 years ago in Cape Coral. That 2016 tornado touched down in January too. Most (rare) strong SWFL tornadoes develop during winter with a dip south in the jet stream or from summer/fall tropical systems. @WINKNews pic.twitter.com/gdEAexB5Ag
In Charlotte County, more than 20 mobile homes were damaged and some were destroyed, WINK reported, but thankfully, no one was hurt. A local state of emergency was issued in the area.
The tornado that hit Iona, near Cape Coral, reportedly damaged 108 homes.
The National Weather Service was in the area on Monday to assess the damage and will release a more detailed report about the storms in the coming days.