EF2 tornado hits Cape Coral as heavy rain, winds cause damage across Lee County

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Cape Coral storm damage Jan. 9, 2016

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – An EF2 tornado tore roofs from homes, collapsed garages, shattered windows and damaged vehicles across Cape Coral Saturday night.

The tornado touched down in an area bordered by Gleason Parkway to the north, Cape Coral Parkway to the south, Pelican Boulevard to the east, and Sands Boulevard to the west, Cape Coral police said.

EF2 storms can produce winds between 111 and 135 mph.

No serious injuries or deaths were reported.

Nearly 10,000 people were without power at one point, officials said. Parts of Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Sanibel Island, as well as parts of Charlotte, Hendry and Collier counties, were without power, according to the Lee County Electric Cooperative.

Storm damage was widespread across Cape Coral, including downed power lines on Chiquita Boulevard, debris and property damage on Skyline Boulevard – including a tree that fell through an apartment – and residences sustaining heavy damage on SW 15th Place.

Residents needing assistance were being advised to head to Oasis High School, where the American Red Cross was set up Saturday night.

The tornado was part of heavy thunderstorms that moved through the area at about 7:30 p.m.

In seconds, Michael Traeger went from not being worried about the weather to being a casualty of it.

Traeger received a tornado warning on his phone, but ignored it at first.

“All of a sudden we heard this vacuum noise and it hurt your ears like going up on an airplane,” he said. “Two seconds later, the window just exploded. And I was sitting on the couch. It scared the hell out of me.”

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