Storm damage reported in East Naples, related to Tropical Storm Debby - PHOTOS

David Albers/Staff
- Joannie Christopher, of Naples, surveys the damage to her car after it was crushed by an Australian pine tree parked in the driveway to her condo during a severe storm on Saturday, June 23, 2102, in East Naples. Several homes and cars were damaged as wind whipped through East Naples Saturday afternoon.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS // Buy this photo

David Albers/Staff - Joannie Christopher, of Naples, surveys the damage to her car after it was crushed by an Australian pine tree parked in the driveway to her condo during a severe storm on Saturday, June 23, 2102, in East Naples. Several homes and cars were damaged as wind whipped through East Naples Saturday afternoon.

Reader captures tornado on video

Tornado near Rattlesnake Hammock.

— An East Naples neighborhood scrambled to patch roofs and clean up debris Saturday night from a wind storm related to Tropical Storm Debby, which formed in the evening in the Gulf of Mexico.

Initial reports to authorities of a tornado touching down near Rattlesnake Hammock Road and U.S. 41 East shortly before 4 p.m. are as yet unconfirmed, said Dan Summers, director of the Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services.

Instead, emergency officials labeled what occurred in East Naples as a downburst.

No injuries from the storm were reported, however strong winds primarily off of Catalina Drive damaged about 12 homes. Downed trees also destroyed two cars at an apartment complex at 4300 Gulfstream Drive.

A tornado warning was issued for Collier County immediately following the initial reports of wind damage, but was lifted later Saturday evening just as Debby formed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Debby was about 220 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Debby already was interfering with oil and gas production and putting officials on alert for flooding and strong winds from southern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

The storm’s center is expected to linger over the northern Gulf during the next few days with no landfall in the immediate forecast. Forecasters warned of up to six inches of rain along the coast, with isolated amounts of 10 inches.

Soaked by a drizzle punctuated by bursts of heavy rain, Vicki Abrams walked around her Barcelona Circle home in East Naples taking pictures of the damaged fence and lanai for insurance purposes, while two doors down her nephew was on a neighbor’s roof, fastening a tarp over a section that had blown away.

“We heard stuff hitting the side of the house. Then the wind and the rain were real heavy, and the power flashed off,” Abrams recalled. That’s when she said she looked out the window to see debris “swirling” in the wind.

“Then it took off. It was just a matter of minutes,” she said.

Three Barcelona Circle houses had gaping holes in their roofs. Plywood with shingles still attached was strewn across lawns.

A shed from a Cortez Circle home was ripped apart — one chunk slung over a power line behind the house like a used pair of sneakers, another a few yards over.

Dan Summers, director of Collier County's Bureau of Emergency Services, in a file photo as he gives a presentation to  county commissioners during a prior hurricane season.

Photo by GREG KAHN, Staff // Buy this photo

Dan Summers, director of Collier County's Bureau of Emergency Services, in a file photo as he gives a presentation to county commissioners during a prior hurricane season.

Summers said a tornado wasn’t the only weather event that could have thrown debris across yards and fences and into power lines.

“It’s not unusual that a downburst would have that lift,” he said.

Some residents reported doors bursting open, twirling debris, and loud wind. But the characteristics associated with tornados can also be the result of a downburst, or a strong downdraft, which can have winds exceeding 165 mph.

Like tornados, a downburst can be accompanied by a loud “roaring” sound and the appearance that trees were “twisted” off, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

One possible indicator of a downburst is that debris and trees are often laying in straight lines. Several residents Saturday reported looking outside in the middle of the high winds to see trees bent parallel to the ground.

Joannie Christopher hurried to move her wheelchair-bound mother away from windows after she saw the trees outside their Gulfstream Drive apartment “sideways.”

Soon after, she heard a crack and a crash outside. Two towering Australian pines snapped closed to the base, crushing the only car Christopher and her 78-year-old mother have, the one with a lift on the back to transport the mobility scooter. It also landed on her neighbor David Manuel’s car.

“It’s going to be a rough week,” said Manuel, whose insurance will likely cover the car repairs or replacement. Christopher, however, found out her mother’s insurance was not comprehensive as the family thought.

“It’s the worst thing ever,” she said, adding that their only car is key to getting her mother to doctor’s appointments.

The storm cell carved a path from Rattlesnake Hammock Road through the streets off Catalina Drive, to Boca Ciega Drive in the adjacent Lakewood neighborhood to the northwest, leaving a trail of plant debris along the way, Summers said.

It then hopped Airport-Pulling Road and headed north, causing some landscape damage to the NCH North Naples Hospital campus off Immokalee Road. It knocked power out briefly to nearby buildings and the Collier’s Reserve neighborhood, Summers said.

Florida Power & Light estimated that about 40 customers in East Naples lost electricity in the wind storm along the outer bands of Debby.

Florida Power & Light estimated that about 40 customers in East Naples lost electricity in the wind storm along the outer bands of Debby.

“This is quite common with this type of storm,” said senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart with the National Hurricane Center of the East Naples wind storm. “They tend to not be very large or long-lived, which can be difficult to detect on radar. So people need to keep an eye on the sky.”

Power was restored late Saturday in the East Naples neighborhood, FPL reported.

Summers encouraged homeowners with roof damage to make temporary repairs, but to inform insurance agents and professional repairmen quickly, especially as Debby lingers in the Gulf.

This is the first time four tropical storms were recorded before July 1 during the Atlantic hurricane season since record keeping began in 1851.

Posted earlier

Several homes were damaged as wind whipped through East Naples on Saturday afternoon, however the head of the Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services Dan Summers said initial reports of a tornado are as yet unfounded.

Instead, the storm cell that passed through caused "straight-line wind damage," he said.

"There is minor damage, but nothing destroyed," Summers said.

The majority of damage, including downed tree limbs and roof damage, occurred on Barcelona Circle and in the Lakewood and Beachwood areas off of U.S. 41 East near Rattlesnake Hammock Road.

No injuries were reported.

Florida Power & Light Co. was reporting about 40 homes without electricity as of around 6 p.m. with an estimated time for restoring power as 7:30 p.m.

Return to naplesnews.com for more on this developing story

Posted earlier

Authorities are responding to a report of a tornado touching down in East Naples in the vicinity of Rattlesnake Hammock Road and U.S. 41 East.

East Naples firefighters and Collier County sheriff’s officials are responding and settling up a command post at U.S. 41 and Rattlesnake Hammock Road.

Authorities said a tornado warning has just been issued for the area until about 4:30 p.m. and then extended until after 5 p.m. It has since been lifted.

Daily News staff on scene is reporting roof damage to at least one home on Barcelona Circle.

Authorities also are receiving calls about storm damage to trees, fences, some roofs and pool cages in the Boca Ciega and Lakewood neighborhoods.

Several emergency personnel responding reported seeing what appeared to be a funnel cloud. It moved in the direction from south to northwest, with reports of airborne sightings in North Naples a short time later.

Some tree limbs also are reported snapped off at NCH North Naples Hospital at Immokalee Road and Goodlette-Frank Road.

Return to naplesnews.com for more on this developing story

__ The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 46

coyotesfft writes:

funnel cloud sighted in north naples.

micirisi writes:

Surprising. I'm not far from there and it has been mostly calm all day except for the drizzle. Hope all are OK and property damage minimal.

scubatenor writes:

Hunker down, people!

foreclosure_agent writes:

I was driving home heading North on Livingston and saw the funnel cloud over North Naples.

joeybaccala writes:

My Mother-in-Law is without electricity & is in Manor Care without oxygen!!

meeho42794 writes:

I was heading down immokalee road toward Livingston I saw the funnel cloud and it appeared that there was smoke in front of me ... i thought it was the cloud...then all of the cars got pushed toward the side of road and the trees were all bent over. I gunned it passed the cars ahead to get away from it. Very scary.

Bigkondorsback (Inactive) writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

My Mother-in-Law is without electricity & is in Manor Care without oxygen!!

So, every grocery store has a back up generator, and a nursing facilty does not????

LGoldstein writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

My Mother-in-Law is without electricity & is in Manor Care without oxygen!!

Some men would consider that a blessing.

swfljim writes:

in response to LGoldstein:

Some men would consider that a blessing.

LOL

Here4Now writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

My Mother-in-Law is without electricity & is in Manor Care without oxygen!!

It's free - just friggin' BREATHE

Here4Now writes:

in response to micirisi:

Surprising. I'm not far from there and it has been mostly calm all day except for the drizzle. Hope all are OK and property damage minimal.

I agree. I think everyone is lying or exaggerating.

joeybaccala writes:

in response to Bigkondorsback:

So, every grocery store has a back up generator, and a nursing facilty does not????

Unfortunately, it does...She is a PITA and she had to call us to tell us so we would feel sorry for her!! Also, she complained that because the power was out she couldn't watch her Oprah Winfrey channel!

susanlynn60 writes:

Manor care does have backup generators. Light were on when I drove past the facility about 24 mins ago.

joeybaccala writes:

in response to LGoldstein:

Some men would consider that a blessing.

It would REALLY be a blessing if they didn't have the back-up generator and extra air tanks!

joeybaccala writes:

in response to Here4Now:

It's free - just friggin' BREATHE

Fortunately she can't...she's stage 4 COPD, whatever that means.

Ssp1 writes:

Dan Summers is a idiot

NDNisLame writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

Fortunately she can't...she's stage 4 COPD, whatever that means.

pdlucky writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

It would REALLY be a blessing if they didn't have the back-up generator and extra air tanks!

My mother just left Manor Care on Saturday for Hospice House. Died Monday afternoon and we had her memorial service today @ 2 p.m. Must be her because she was a s--t stirrer.

joeybaccala writes:

UPDATE: All is well @ ManorCare...Oprah Winfrey Network is back up and running!!

burg writes:

i am glad all the politicans and news editors responded from thier cozy homes to secure the hazards from the damage and check for injuries,since we dont need fire departments.

joeybaccala writes:

in response to pdlucky:

My mother just left Manor Care on Saturday for Hospice House. Died Monday afternoon and we had her memorial service today @ 2 p.m. Must be her because she was a s--t stirrer.

Sorry to hear about your Mother. What room was she in? My Mother-in-Law just drives them all crazy!!

joeybaccala writes:

in response to pdlucky:

My mother just left Manor Care on Saturday for Hospice House. Died Monday afternoon and we had her memorial service today @ 2 p.m. Must be her because she was a s--t stirrer.

My Mother-in-Law knows everything, or so she says...Is your Mother's name Angie?

allidiots writes:

You people are just sick. My sister died from COPD and here you are making jokes. She suffered for years and couldn't breathe and you sit here and make jokes. You must lead some very sad lives. I just truly can't believe the comments I have read. Sad, just flippen sad............

joeybaccala writes:

in response to allidiots:

You people are just sick. My sister died from COPD and here you are making jokes. She suffered for years and couldn't breathe and you sit here and make jokes. You must lead some very sad lives. I just truly can't believe the comments I have read. Sad, just flippen sad............

I haven't seen any COPD jokes in this thread...where are they? I must have missed them!

allidiots writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

I haven't seen any COPD jokes in this thread...where are they? I must have missed them!

you made one yourself, scroll back up and read!

allidiots writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

Fortunately she can't...she's stage 4 COPD, whatever that means.

No-one mentions COPD in this feed! I guess you forgot!!!

joeybaccala writes:

in response to allidiots:

you made one yourself, scroll back up and read!

I did?...the only joke I made is that she's a pain in the arse...COPD is secondary to the torment she has cause my wife & me.

joeybaccala writes:

in response to allidiots:

No-one mentions COPD in this feed! I guess you forgot!!!

If this is what you consider a "joke" your shorts are on too tight...I was not familiar with stage 4 COPD until that fine blogger posted the link with the different levels of COPD.
And just so you know, not that it's any of your business, but I have severe asthma, but at least I am not a tormentor...

osamaisdead writes:

We would have been better prepared if we had channel 25!!!

louiegagootz writes:

in response to osamaisdead:

We would have been better prepared if we had channel 25!!!

Excellent point, Osama.
Why don't you send a message to the "In The Know" guy and ask him to find out when Comcast will get it working again?

Chester writes:

So much for a below average hurricane season. Its not even July yet and we've already had 4 named storms! The "experts" and their predictions are no better than the average ham and egger!

2konks2mom writes:

The Australian pine trees need to be removed from all areas of Florida. I've watched them fall during a hurricane in the Keys when I lived there. They just toppled over while other trees stood. Their root system is too shallow to withstand any strong winds. So if you have any in your area, don't park your vehicle under or near them.

26 writes:

SWFL is blessed when it comes to storms

savethewhalz writes:

in response to allidiots:

You people are just sick. My sister died from COPD and here you are making jokes. She suffered for years and couldn't breathe and you sit here and make jokes. You must lead some very sad lives. I just truly can't believe the comments I have read. Sad, just flippen sad............

Man goes to doctor desperate for relief from COPD after trying every known treatment without success. "Listen," says the doc "I have COPD, too ... and I'm going to give you some personal advice of what I do for my own COPD that works for me. When I feel shortness of breath coming on I go home, take a nice hot bath and have my wife sponge me off with the hottest water I can stand ... especially around my chest. Then I get out of the tub, take her into the bedroom and force myself to have sex ... and this almost always improves my condition. Give it a try and come back in six weeks."

Six weeks later, the patient returns . "Doc! I took your advice and It REALLY WORKS! I've had COPD for 17 years and this is the FIRST time anyone has helped me!"

"Well," says the physician, "I'm glad I could help."

"By the way, Doc," the patient adds, "You have a really nice house."

chief04 writes:

I suppose this 'severe' storm must have been isolated to a 2 mile radius cause it hardly rained where I am. 10 minutes away from the damaged area.... Guess NDN has to dramatize everything. I'm sorry for the people who had damage, but the entire article seems to be focused on the lady and her disabled mother. Almost sounds like a hint for donations of a new car.

joeybaccala writes:

in response to savethewhalz:

Man goes to doctor desperate for relief from COPD after trying every known treatment without success. "Listen," says the doc "I have COPD, too ... and I'm going to give you some personal advice of what I do for my own COPD that works for me. When I feel shortness of breath coming on I go home, take a nice hot bath and have my wife sponge me off with the hottest water I can stand ... especially around my chest. Then I get out of the tub, take her into the bedroom and force myself to have sex ... and this almost always improves my condition. Give it a try and come back in six weeks."

Six weeks later, the patient returns . "Doc! I took your advice and It REALLY WORKS! I've had COPD for 17 years and this is the FIRST time anyone has helped me!"

"Well," says the physician, "I'm glad I could help."

"By the way, Doc," the patient adds, "You have a really nice house."

Now, mlsfred...THAT's a COPD joke!! LOL!

savethewhalz writes:

in response to joeybaccala:

Now, mlsfred...THAT's a COPD joke!! LOL!

Gorilla with COPD walks into a bar and orders a beer handing the bartender a 20 dollar bill. The bartender thinking the gorilla unable to count serves him a beer and gives him only a dollar back in change then comments, "you know we don't see too many gorillas with COPD in here." The gorilla takes a drag off his inhaler then replies, "It's no wonder at $19 a beer."

allidiots writes:

such childish behavior.

Here4Now writes:

New this fall on FOX - COPD Vice

just_makin_it writes:

OMG see what a little wind and rain will do to bored people? lmao!

Here4Now writes:

I'm praying we can all find closure

Opinionated writes:

And my wife likes to watch soap operas, she needs to start reading these threads.

staghorn writes:

i had to make a sudden trip to fowley alabama yesterday. coming back today. from 100 miles west of tallahassee to sarasota it was a nightmare in that storm. for many miles you could not exceed 40mph on I10 and I75. what a nightmare it was for over 300 miles!

oh and in many gas stations from fowley alabama to st petersburg, florida gasoline today was $3.04 a gallon.

khh0725 writes:

COPD is often caused by smoking!! It's the person's choice - to be able to breathe or not!!!

KR writes:

Austrian pines! Naples news!

22FOXTROT writes:

in response to Ssp1:

Dan Summers is a idiot

that is a fact

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features