FORT MYERS, Fla. — Since the severe storms hit on Sunday, the National Weather Service has been using photos, videos, and in person observations to not only gauge the strength, but also the path of these tornadoes.
As of Wednesday, there were five tornadoes:
- an EF-2 in Lee County;
- two EF-1s in Charolotte County;
- two EF-0s in Collier County.
There was originally a sixth in Collier County, but that has now been found to be part of the Lely Resort tornado.
The latest information on the Iona tornado in Lee County has it starting as a waterspout in San Carlos Bay and making landfall near Bunche Beach. It then traveled eight miles to the foot of Cape Coral Bridge.
The Placida Tornado in Charolotte County, the first tornado on Jan. 16 in our area, started as a waterspout south of Boca Grande Causeway. It then moved over Placida, ending along Gasparilla Road.
The same supercell then dropped a second tornado in the Gulf Cove area. This was the shortest tornado, only being on the ground for just over a half-mile.
In Collier County, the Lely Resort tornado started as a waterspout near Off the Hook Hideaway. The tornado then crossed Tamiami Trail in Lely Resort, before continuing over I-75. The tornado flipped an 18-wheeler as it crossed I-75, causing minor injuries to the driver. This was the longest tracked tornado, going 15 miles.
The last tornado of the day on Sunday likely started as a waterspout just west of Everglades City. The tornado then crossed Route 29 and Tamiami Trail, before ending in Big Cypress National Preserve.
While there are five tornadoes in the official count, the National Weather Service says they are still investigating data, including storm path and damage reports in parts of Cape Coral. We will update you on their findings when that is released.