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EF-1 tornado touches down in Fort Myers

Posted at 12:37 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 12:15:57-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The National Weather Service in Ruskin, Florida confirmed an EF-1 tornado touched down in south Fort Myers at 6:25 a.m. on Tuesday.

The tornado was on the ground for 2 minutes and had winds estimated at 95 mph, scoring the ground for nearly 1.3 miles.

Dozens of homes in the Eagle Ridge Community saw damage with an estimated cost in excess of $500,000. Large tree branches were found broken near and along the tornado's path. As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, there is one reported minor injury due to broken glass.

Cleanup crews spread across this entire area throughout Tuesday - assessing all the damage.

"I had no idea it was that kind of impact," said Nancy Dailey. "It's just very unusual to go through something like this before Christmas, but no one's injured, so that's the main thing."

Every neighbor we spoke with said they woke up to a distinct sound between 6:15 and 6:30 Tuesday morning.

When it was over, metal street signs were left twisted, branches ripped right off, trees uprooted, chairs flown across the street, wood, nails and insulation all over.

A nearby condo building suffered a carport collapse.

"We are contacting [owners] and making sure that they were not home," said Amy Bollen with the South Trail Fire Department said.

Nets that are meant to catch golf balls at Eagle Ridge Golf Course were seen ripped to shreds and hanging by a metal line. Several golf carts were destroyed and golf balls were strewn everywhere.

"It is one crazy hot mess out here," said Bollen, "but we have not had any type of calls for any kind of significant injury."

Only one injury related to flying glass was reported Tuesday.