Pine Island residents clean up weekend storm damage

Reporter: Megan Contreras Writer: Chloe Herring
Published: Updated:

PINE ISLAND, Fla.- Days after a tornado touched down in Cape Coral, residents to the east in Pine Island also began to sift through what was left in the aftermath of the storm.

“I think if the storm would have moved over 60 to 70 feet, we may have been sleeping under the stars,” said Richard Nadeau, a homeowner in Pine Island.

Nadeau remembers Saturday’s storm as a very sensory experience– his first time in a tornado.

“It was somewhat of a disaster, never having been in one,” said Nadeau, whose home is located on Catfish Court. “It was very noisy and very wet, more lightning than what I ever experienced in my entire life.”

Nadeua said he was impressed with the speed of the storm system, which the National Weather Service said ripped 3.4 miles of Southwest Florida reaching wind speeds of 132 mph.

“The duration of the storm, the speed of it was incredible. It came and left in a matter of 10 minutes,” Nadeau said.

Nadeau’s home was one of Pine Island’s hardest hit. He says strong winds mostly tore apart his lanai, leaving behind an apparent mangled mess.

“As it is, it’s (the damage) just the lanai and the framework of the lanai.”

Despite the damage to his home, Nadeau is in good spirits, with no shortage of support. On Monday, neighbors pitched in to help him sort through debris.

“There is plenty of help around,” Nadeau said. “That’s the Pine Island spirit.”

There was also no shortage of curious bystanders. Nadeau said dozens of cars were parked by his home, “curiosity seekers,” he called them. He thinks people will talk about Saturday’s tornado for years to come.

“They are still talking about Charley and that was 10 or 12 years ago. There must have been 100 cars by the house, curiosity seekers,” he said.

The homeowner wasn’t the only person to make the comparison. Cape Coral police Det. Sgt. Dana Coston likened the storm damage to Hurricane Charley, which devastated Southwest Florida in 2004.



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