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Evaluating Southwest Florida's tornado damaged areas one week later

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 06:47:54-05

IONA, Fla. — Sunday marks one week since six tornadoes devastated several parts of Southwest Florida.

One of those areas heavily impacted was the city of Iona.

“Everything works out. It’ll all be better. We’ll be back to normal at some point.”

It’s a common sentiment from residents of the Cottage Point Mobile Home Park, one week after six tornadoes swept thru SWFL.

"Everything- all the debris, all of the brush and any construction debris that’s gotten set out at the road- we’re just going through and picking everything up, getting everything out," says Scott Martell with Forum Services. "That way everybody can get back to normal as soon as possible.”

Martell is with forum services, a local contracting business. He says he and his contracting group have been hired by the county to help with clean up efforts.

Aside from Cottage Point, Martell says they’ve helped out at Century 21 Mobile Estates and Tropicana Mobile Park.

"By Monday morning, we had gotten the phone call that the county was going to take care of it for everybody," said Martell. "We gave everybody a couple of days to let the adrenaline go down and get everybody’s stuff out to the curb to where we came in. We started Thursday morning and we’ll be here until it’s finished, seven days a week.”

"Everybody’s been out working. Except for jasper- he just supervises.”

Albert Werner is one of those residents who experienced Sunday’s storms. He was just one of a few residents we saw walking around the mobile estate Sunday morning.

"Ours came behind the house like a roaring train with all the whistles blowing,” says Werner.

While the clean-up has been extensive, memories from last week’s storms are still fresh in the minds of residents. Martell says he and his group will be out for as long as it takes to get these residents their lives- and homes- back to normal.

"We’re all from here, we all live in Fort Myers. All the drivers and us- we’re based here and to get to help out here makes it a little bit better.”

"It’ll be normal once they get all of this rubbish out of here," said Werner. "We’re planning on having a community supper next Saturday so we’ll see.”