EF-1 tornado leaves mile-long trail of damage in NW Cape Coral

A tornado rips through northwest Cape Coral Saturday morning, with winds peaking at around 95 miles per hour and leaving a mile-long trail of damage. Fortunately, nobody was hurt by the storm.

There are several pieces of broken glass and damaged furniture lining the inside of a northwest Cape Coral home. The effects from high winds from the tornado has made it unlivable. But those inside during the storm are left unscathed.

The National Weather Service in Tampa Bay has confirmed that a tornado, classified as an EF-1, touched down around 6:47 a.m. EF-1 had an estimated peak wind speed of 95 mph. Reporter Breana Ross did a walkthrough of a house severely damaged by the tornado:

As the video shows, there were significant damages within the house, including a BBQ thrown into the living room. But that was not the only house with losses. The NWS said at least 18 homes were damaged, ranging in severity. But, no injuries have been reported.

Dana Dineen told WINK News he was woken up by horrifying sounds. “It sounded kind of like a concrete truck or a dump truck mixed with thunder,” he said. “I mean, it was really, really loud.”

Candy Payne was out on her porch while it was still dark out. Then, she heard the tornado barreling nearby. “It sounded like a train came through the yard,” she said. “As soon as it got daylight, I went in to pour myself a cup of coffee and looked out the front window and, ‘oh, my god!’ The neighbor’s house got trashed. Their lanai got torn down.”

Other neighbors had bad luck, too. A car was thrown from across the street. It is completely smashed and totaled. Close by, surveillance video from a nearby house shows the tornado as it causes some destruction:

The Cape Coral Fire Department said the tornado left a mile-long trail of damage. The Red Cross is trying to help get folks with severe damage to shelter.

‘We have a long road ahead of us’

After EF-1 pulverized a northwest Cape Coral neighborhood, homeowners are asking what is next after the damages. In the meantime, neighbors are stepping up to help each other recover from the storm.

There are many questions facing these homeowners, centering around how to rebuild and move forward. But with the threat of more rain, the first action a lot of these homeowners will take is getting tarps on their roofs to conceal the damages.

Right now, workers are everywhere in the community, securing tarps on top of homes with damages or lost roofs. Those living in the community are facing damages of every kind from broken fences, fallen trees, screen doors with rips and more.

“It’s kind of crazy; it’s scary,” said Leigh Kundrick, who has a roof with damages. “We have a long road ahead of us. So just yeah, pray for us. Pray for us.”

It is crucial to keep in mind that the process will look different for everyone. The City of Cape Coral said it is working on a quick cleanup effort.

“We’ve worked with all our city partners, police, public works,” said Ryan Lamb, chief of the Cape Coral Fire Dept. “We’re going to get street signs up here very quickly and clean up debris and we’ll be taking extra trash pickups to take out that extra trash.”

Homeowners WINK News spoke with said they are confident their insurance will help them rebuild. Right now, they are grateful for their neighbors helping them clean up. That includes Rolland Pierre, who woke up with a garbage can shattering a window and his front door ripped from his home.

“Life keeps going; we survived, so there’s nothing to worry about it,” Pierre said. “We’ll clean up and rebuild everything and that’s it.”

“We didn’t get the impact, but my neighbors and my friends did so I’m out here helping,” Carol Marchak said. “That’s what we do.”

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Breana Ross
Sydney Persing
Writer:Michael Mora
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