Damaged communities begin cleanup after deadly tornadoes hit

SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Gov. Scott toured the damaged communities in Sarasota and Manatee counties Sunday afternoon after tornadoes and storms rolled through the area, damaging homes, ripping off roofs and killing two people in Duette during the early morning hours.

Gov. Scott said that it remains unclear if the state government will seek a disaster declaration; the damage still needs to be assessed. He also stated that Florida is prepared to handle such weather emergencies.

“This state is well prepared for disasters. And you go across the state, and you go to sheriff’s departments, you go to police departments, you go to the city and county managers, they do a good job.”

PHOTOS: Powerful storms leave homes damaged 

According to the Sarasota County officials, the crews inspected more than 350 properties — about 45 of them sustained damaged estimated at more than $3 million. Red Cross responded on scene in Siesta Key.

“If there’s needs at the state level, we have a great state of emergency management team, but we also have great local emergency management teams and your state dollars go to fund some of those things and we’re going to continue to do it.”

Officials report one tornado touched down near 20225 Albritton Rd in Duette and the other twister touched down in Siesta Key. The tornado that hit Duette was an EF2 tornado with winds reaching 125 miles per hour with a path length of seven miles, according to the National Weather Service. Read more about Duette damage the family that lost their grandparents in the tornado here

Sarasota County residents need to call (941)861-5000 to report any property damage and debris on the roads.


Crews are responding safely and as quickly as possible to restore power to customers affected by today’s severe weather. We have added resources to the hardest hit areas to help speed the restoration efforts. Customers can visit FPL.com/Powertracker or call 1-800-4-OUTAGE to report an outage or check the status of when power will be restored.

A roof of an apartment building was ripped off in Siesta Key.

“It just went bang,” Jean Cook, a resident in one of the damaged buildings in Siesta Key said.

Residents say it sounded like a train going through.

“It looks like a war zone,” another resident said about the damage.

Sarasota County officials confirmed damage to multiple homes near and on Baywinds Lane near Siesta Key. At least one home is destroyed after the home collapsed. At least one woman had to be pulled from the wreckage of the home by first responders. There are reports of roofs being blown off additional homes.

Crews started to clean up in the areas at about 8 a.m. Sunday. Gov. Scott expressed condolences to the Duette families who had lost their loved ones Sunday.

FORECAST: Here is what to expect later today and tomorrow.

Keep checking WFLA.com for real-time updates on this story. Get severe weather updates on your phone with the Storm Team 8 ‘Weather Max’ app. To get alerts for breaking news, grab the free WFLA News App. You can also sign up for email alerts.

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