A couple was killed and their son and four grandchildren were injured when a pair of tornadoes ripped through central Florida and destroyed their mobile home on Sunday.
The injured children are between the ages of 6 and 10.
‘I’m amazed to see anybody got out of this alive,’ said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube during a news conference.
Homes and property were destroyed after a pair of tornadoes ripped through Florida on Sunday morning
Two people died, and five people were injured as one of the tornadoes passed through Duette, Florida on Sunday
Sarasota County Government shared this map along with a warning to residents as a pair of tornadoes ripped through Florida on Sunday
Steube said that the victims of the tornado in Duette were asleep in their mobile home when the tornado struck.
Steven Wilson, 58, was killed immediately, while his wife, Kate, died from a heart attack after being taken to a hospital.
Their son, also named Steven Wilson, crawled out of the wreckage and helped his four children out of the home.
The younger Wilson and the children are being treated at a hospital. Their injuries aren’t thought to be life threatening.
The National Weather Service in Ruskin, Florida, said a tornado touched down in Duette in Manatee County at 3:45 a.m.
Minutes later, another twister struck near the beach community of Siesta Key in Sarasota County.
Siesta Key is a barrier island known for its pricey condos and wide, gorgeous beaches.
On Sunday morning, about 17,000 residents in the area were without power, the Sarasota County Emergency Management office said on its Facebook page.
Sarasota County officials reported damage to multiple homes near Siesta Key. At least one home was destroyed and a woman had to be pulled from the wreckage by first responders. Other damage reports include roofs being blown off homes.
The Sarasota Police Department early Sunday reported downed trees, minor flooding and mangled parking structures in the city.
Trees were uprooted and property destroyed after two tornadoes wreaked havoc in Florida over the weekend
Two people died and five were injured in the storms, which left 17,000 Florida residents without power on Sunday
Emergency responders survey the damage left in the wake of two deadly tornadoes in Florida on Sunday
Tyler Fleming, an NWS meteorologist, told Daily Mail Online that Duette, about 50 miles southeast of Tampa, was struck by a category EF2 tornado, with winds of between 111 mph and 135 mph.
Another category EF2 tornado hit Siesta Key with a maximum wind speed of 132 mph. The second tornado left in its wake a trail of destruction 350 yards wide, according to NWS.
With the El Niño winter still ongoing, there is still a risk more tornadoes will strike Florida, Fleming said.
‘Through February and March we are still expecting the threat of more tornadoes,’ Fleming said.
The Sarasota Police Department early Sunday reported downed trees and power lines and minor flooding. Officials in Tampa closed the Skyway Bridge, a major thoroughfare, Sunday morning for the second time since midnight after wind speeds reached up to 50 mph with wind gusts up to 60 mph.
Sarasota County Government announced the opening of a resource center for victims of the storms on its Facebook page