Two dozen homes damaged in Charlotte Co. tornado

- Residents in Charlotte County spent the day cleaning up after two tornadoes hit the area.

About two dozen homes were damaged on Manasota Key during the storms.

"We heard something in the lanai and all the furniture started moving and the wind started blowing," said Floyd Fowler.

He and his wife were caught off-guard Monday night as a waterspout moved ashore, becoming a tornado.

"Oh my God, I said where do we go?" Fowler recalled.

They took cover as debris flew around outside, tearing out patio screens and bending metal railings on the balcony.

"When that tornado went by, it like sucked the blinds into the window," Floyd recalled.

One street over, Frank Fettes said he paid close attention to the storm warnings.

"I knew Sarasota County was going to get nailed," Fettes said.

But when he saw the storm getting close to Venice, he knew it was time to take cover.

Sarasota County was spared Monday night. Fettes, who is just across the county line in Charlotte, found himself in the middle of its path.

"All of a sudden, the boat came off the trailer and hit the side of the house. That got me off the couch in a hurry," said Fettes.

The winds from the tornado reached 105 miles per hour, according to FOX 13 Meteorologist Mike Bennet. The tornado was 75 yards wide, but it wasn't on the ground very long.

"It was gone in a few seconds," said Fettes.

No one was seriously hurt. The majority of damage happened to homes off Desoto Road. One had its siding ripped off, and others were missing parts of roofs.

A home on the beach, which was set for demolition, was met with mother nature's force.

The tornado damaged 24 properties - one home and four units of a condo sustained major damage and have been deemed unsafe by county officials.

In Palm Shores, the tornado damaged nine properties. No homes there were declared uninhabitable.

"I said, 'Holy smokes! I'm glad I'm not dead,'" Fettes said when the storm passed. "I called my wife and she wasn't in any trouble either, and I was happy with that."

The clean up will continue, but a sense of relief is felt, knowing everyone is okay.

"I knew what it was. It wasn't any surprise," Fettes said.

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