A Cape Coral tornado is making news as the week begins. The tornado landed in the Florida city on Saturday night. The arrival shocked residents who had no idea that a tornado was about to hit Cape Coral. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a 12-square mile of Cape Coral was affected by the EF2 tornado that hit around 7 p.m. on Saturday night.
Residents were not even expecting the tornado. According to the Naples Daily News, one resident, Rick Koch, had an artist delivering two paintings to his home when the storm hit. He invited the man inside to wait out the storm, and the artist ended up spending the night because of the Cape Coral tornado. During the storm, the artist’s van was lifted and landed on top of a car outside Koch’s home.
Rick Koch spoke about the tornado with the media.
“The windows started to break and I told them to get out of the living room. I thought we were going to die, and the pressure inside the house changed. There was this terrible pressure. You knew something was totally wrong. I feel so much pain it’s ridiculous. Everything is replaceable, but the stress. I can’t eat. I’m turned inside out.”
Another Cape Coral resident ran inside her bathroom to hide when the winds outside her home picked up intensely. At the time, she had no idea that a tornado was about to hit the area. According to KHOU, Kelly Anderson is lucky she went to hide in her bathroom because her home took a direct hit. When she left her bathroom, she found glass and doors blown into her home by the EF2 tornado.
She spoke about the storm with the media.
“I just heard glass crashing everywhere. I’m behind the door in the bathroom trying to get it shut and debris is flying in the guest bathroom and then it stopped, and I walked out and everything was gone. Windows and doors, all of our living room, the kitchen, the pool cages in our backyard. Our boats are gone. It’s devastating.”
Anderson’s home was not the only home destroyed by Saturday night’s tornado. Other residents in the area saw their homes condemned after they were inspected on Sunday. Governor Rick Scott also toured the area on Sunday.
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Wink News shared details of Saturday’s tornado, and the damage it caused the town of Cape Coral.
“The tornado had an estimated peak wind of 132 mph and a path length of 3.4 miles, the National Weather Service said. About 178 structures were damaged: One home was destroyed, 14 had major damage and 163 suffered minor damage, the National Weather Service said. There were reports of over 100 power poles down, the agency said.”
Right now, early estimates of the damage are coming close to $6 million in damage. Initially, there were 10,000 residents without power in the area, but that number had dwindled down to less than 2,000 by Sunday night. Power should be restored to everyone in the area by Monday afternoon.
For some residents, they lost everything because of the tornado. The home owned by Luis Gonzalez was directly in the path of the tornado. After the storm, he said, “This home is probably a total loss. Completely lost. It’s all that I have, my house. Practically, I’ve become homeless.”
There is good news in the midst of all this tragedy. According to the Cape Coral Police, no one was killed, and there was no serious injuries due to the tornado. There were a few cuts and scrapes, but no loss of life. That could have been very different.
Tornados in Florida are not rare, but the storms that do hit the state usually do not produce the same size tornados that are seen elsewhere in the country. According to Wikipedia, the strongest tornados in Florida usually hit during the winter months because of “invasions of cold air.” In 2007, an EF3 tornado killed 21 in Lake County.
2015 and the start of 2016 have seen a lot of weird weather pop up. What is causing the weird weather? It is being caused by El Nino, according to Time. The weird weather is likely to continue in the months ahead.
Time reported that residents of the United States will see “another year of record heat and some more bizarre weather events.” These weather events include the flooding in Mississippi and strong storms in California.
El Nino has also been blamed for causing issues in the animal kingdom. Last week, reports of the humpback whales, usually seen in Hawaii this time of the year, had them late to arrive.
In the case of Cape Coral, a tornado is not out of the norm for the area, but the strength of the storm will likely be noted.
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