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PHOTOS: Severe winds uproot trees and damage homes in Immokalee

Posted at 10:49 PM, May 16, 2024

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Neighbors faced a chaotic scene on Thursday as winds gusting up to 60 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service, uprooted trees and caused significant damage.

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Trees toppled onto roofs, and power outages left many in the community without electricity for hours.

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Walking the streets of Immokalee to gauge the impact of the storm, I met Ray Jones, who was observing workers dismantle a tree that had fallen on his neighbor's home. Jones had just returned from work when he saw the damage.

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"I was coming home and I've seen the other yards, trees rooted up and everything and I turn on my street, and I see this, and I say 'Oh snap, there was a tornado that came through here," said Jones.

The winds also destroyed a canopy Jones had purchased just two weeks ago.

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The power outage prompted Jones to make plans to stay with his brother in Fort Myers. However, his plans quickly changed when the power was restored during our interview.

Another neighbor reported seeing what appeared to be a funnel cloud but was too afraid for their safety to record it. The severe weather has left residents shaken as they worry about the upcoming hurricane season.

"Now we got hurricanes and tornados, it's crazy!" Jones remarked.

The National Weather Service released the following statement:

"The surey crew has finished their assesment in Immokalee. The damage is consistent with a 60-70 mph downburst that went through the region. The straight line wind damage started just west of 9th Street, and went between Main and Colorado until about 4th St."