Powerful storms ripped through Florida on January 17. Tornadoes touched down and left devastation in their wake.
It all began when tornado warnings were given for a handful of counties near Tampa Bay. Those warnings bore fruit with intense weather starting early Saturday morning (1 a.m.).
WTSP of CBS reported that in total there were four tornadoes that touched down. American Red Cross showed up to meet with affected residents who needed help. For people whose homes were torn to shreds, they offered vouchers for hotel rooms.
For Manatee County, the wreckage was more than just damaged buildings and uprooted trees. There were two fatalities reported by the Sarasota Fire Rescue unit who also head to Siesta Key for rescue.
Sheriff Brad Steube of Manatee County confirmed details at a news conference. He said that according to their current count, two adults were killed. Five people were injured, four of which were children. He said:
“I’m amazed to see anybody got out of this alive.”
Steven Wilson was in his mobile home with his wife, Kade, his adult son and four grandchildren. When the tornado reached them it killed Steven instantly. Kade was taken to the hospital where she later passed of a heart attack. Their son, Steven Jr., managed to escape with his four children who were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
A sweet pic found in the debris of Steven and Kade Wilson. The 2 victims of the devastating tornado in Duette. pic.twitter.com/q4ItBgVjWw
— Lynden Blake (@lynblake) January 17, 2016
As of Sunday, the Sarasota Police Department has reported damage to commercial buildings, parking structures, and homes. There are many downed trees and areas with minor flooding.
Thoughts and condolences to the communities affected, especially to the Wilson family.