FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol said a tornado passed through the area of Interstate 75 and Palm Beach Boulevard just before 5 p.m. Saturday.
An EMS station and Florida Forest Service building on Palm Beach Boulevard just east of the interstate had significant damage after the storm. The roof of one building was thrown off from the storm and a massive tree was knocked over. An employee with the Florida Forest Service said his workshop was briefly lifted by the storm.
“The pole barn, the roof is missing,” Samantha Quinn, the Mitigation Specialist with the Florida Forest Service, said. “There was some pretty hefty–I saw a fence down across from the power plant.”
Metal sheers of a roof lay hundreds of feet away from the building it once covered, broken tree branches speckled the lawn and driveway, and the side of a Eucalyptus tree was sliced and fell into the roadway.
“We can’t confirm or deny if it’s a tornado at this moment but there was some pretty serious damage done to several of the buildings,” Quinn said.
Down the road at the Morse Plaza, they were feeling the wrath of the storm as well as trees toppled over onto homes.
“I got a phone call that there was a loud crash and the tree had fallen over. I thought it was a bunch of drama until I pulled back down the street again, I found the debris all the way down Morse Plaza and then I saw this when I got home,” Phil Schwab said.
Quinn arrived shortly after the storm passed around 5 p.m. and says that although crews were in shock, they were already outside scaling the damage and restoring the power.
“We’re grateful there was no injuries to people or anything of that nature, so everyone was safe,” Quinn added.
While FHP has reported a tornado hit the area, the National Weather Service has not confirmed if in fact the storm was a tornado.