Southwest Florida residents are assessing the damage and counting their blessings after a tense Sunday morning filled with dangerous and destructive severe weather.
According to National Weather Service data, 21 tornado warnings were issued Sunday, spawning five confirmed tornadoes. Of those, the strongest was an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale in Iona, the first strongest tornadic storm to hit the area in about six years.
Damage ranged from twisted sheet metal and downed trees, to an overturned semi-truck that blocked traffic along a stretch of I-75 in Collier County, to the destruction of dozens of mobile homes at the Century 21 community. Gasparilla Mobile Estates in Charlotte County also suffered extensive damage.
Despite the devastation to property, we are hearing few reports of injuries associated with Sunday's storms.
American Red Cross is joining with local and regional officials to assist those who lost their homes. Cleanup efforts will likely stretch into the coming weeks.