Powerful storm damages south Fort Myers community

Published: July 4, 2022 7:13 PM EDT
Updated: July 5, 2022 1:15 PM EDT

A powerful storm hits a neighborhood leaving behind torn-up trees, destroyed mailboxes, and debris. Heavy rain and strong winds moved through the Reflection Isles community in south Fort Myers Sunday night.

According to WINK Meteorologist, Nash Rhodes, what happened appeared to be what’s known as a downburst.

The wet weather made some people run to get shelter from the outdoors. Reflection Isles resident, Mahi Patel, and her friends were just trying to have fun.

“Me and all my friends were at the pool so we had to hurry back home before it started,” Mahi Patel said.

Mango tree that was knocked over by powerful winds in Reflection Isles on July 3, 2022. (Credit: WINK News)

Then suddenly, her mango tree roots were undone. “It’s not a hurricane so like imagine if something like that did come here, that would be insane because there’s already so much damage,” Patel said.

Reflection Isles resident Kimberly Wallace knew there was a storm. “We were in Cape Coral celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday and we came home to this,” Wallace said.

Wallace mentioned she figured it had to be a tornado. “Looking around, it seems like we were the lucky winners of the damage,” Wallace said.

Little did Wallace know, there’s another strong contender just a few streets away.

Mailbox damaged by debris during July 3, 2022 storm in Reflection Isles.

“We’re from Kentucky so tornadoes are a thing and we thought this seems like a tornado, I don’t know,” Reflections Isles resident Jennifer Lucas explained.

“This is all new to us so I don’t know what’s normal and what isn’t normal but that was a lot last night,” Lucas said.

Mahi Patel said she hopes the mango tree will stand tall on its own again. While Kimberly Wallace said she’s gotten a lot of calls to fix the messed-up screen. But residents in the neighborhood are just hoping and praying this is the worst damage they have to see this rainy season.