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Vendors at a Cape Coral farmers market lost merchandise and property to strong winds and rain

Posted at 11:09 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 23:09:32-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — An unfortunate day for a local farmers market, vendors were left picking up the pieces of their booths and goods after an unexpected storm ripped through the area.

Every weekend around 60 vendors gather for a cape coral farmers market to showcase their business, but yesterday, they were in for a surprise downpour.

Elizabeth Coquillard owns southwest Florida produce and was one of the vendors that got trapped in the rain. She says there weren't any storms on the radar for the area, but the rain and high winds came out of nowhere

"It was in and out within four minutes, but it was horrible wind. We did the best that we could just to hold our tents down, so they wouldn't fly away," said Coquillard. "But it came through so quick; it wasn't like it was a bad thunderstorm, and we were just hanging around down there."

She says a lot of vendors lost tents and merchandise. So that night, Coquillard started a GoFundMe to help the other business owners get back to the market next weekend.

"It was something I was just thinking last night in bed; I just felt so bad for all the vendors. I just really hope that they could come back next week and wondered what we can do to help," she said.

In just one day, Coquillard raised nearly two thousand dollars, but her goal is to get to five thousand. She hopes customers will show even more support next weekend to make up for the damages.

Some business owners were able to get out early because they thought the grey skies were an outer band from Hurricane Ida. Our chief meteorologist, Derek Besley, confirmed that the storm was not directly related to the hurricane.

If you want to donate to the fundraiser, you can use this link