Florida

Homes Destroyed as Tornadoes Tear Through Lee, Charlotte Counties

A tornado near the Iona-McGregor area in Lee County left a trail of destruction in Lee County

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Severe storms spun up tornadoes that destroyed homes and left thousands without power in Southwest Florida Sunday.

An EF2 tornado reportedly touched down in the Iona area of Lee County, just before 8 a.m. Sunday, according to The National Weather Service.

In Charlotte County, officials said a tornado was confirmed in the Gasparilla Road area. The storm has been classified as an EF-1 with winds reaching 110 MPH.

As of 1 p.m., more than 7,000 Lee County residents were without power, according to WBBH-TV in Fort Myers. Additionally, a reported 28 homes in Lee County were destroyed. At least 60 homes were reportedly impacted and unable to live in.

According to Iona McGregor Fire District Deputy Chief of Operations and Incident Commander, Khalid Aquil, there is "a heavy concentration of units right now in this area.”

While the NWS has not confirmed details of the suspected tornado, WBBH-TV reports that it has destroyed homes, toppled trees, and left a trail of destruction in Lee County.

“We’ve definitely had some injuries," said Aquil.

According to WBBH-TV, four people sustained injuries and are in stable condition. At this time, there have been no confirmed fatalities.

“The safety and security of the residents is going to be number one," said Sheriff Carmine Marceno from the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Marceno is urging residents to stay safe by remaining sheltered.

“Don't leave your house just to look around. Although things may seem safe, you can see debris. You never know where there are power lines," said Sheriff Marceno. "There are things beyond your control or what you can see that make things very unsafe."

IMFD officials estimate that roughly 150-200 people have been displaced and say that an emergency shelter has opened for people who need a safe place to go.

“Everyone that needs medical attention will absolutely get what they need,” said Sheriff Marceno.