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Longboat Key Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 5 years ago

Strong storms wreak havoc early this morning

Tornadoes and storms wreaked major damage in some areas of Manatee and Sarasota counties early this morning. Longboat Key was spared of major damage.
by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Strong storms and multiple tornadoes wreaked major damage early this morning on Siesta Key and are responsible for two deaths in eastern Manatee County. Longboat Key was spared of any major damage.

Longboat Key Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi informed Town Manager Dave Bullock and department heads in an 8 a.m. email this morning that “Longboat Key had no reports of any significant damage from the storm that passed through earlier this morning.”

Broadway in Longbeach Village is flooded and residents are waiting for power to be restored.

The Key is currently experiencing coastal flooding in Longbeach Village and other low-lying areas of the Key on the north part of the island. Longbeach Village and other north end side street communities are still waiting for power to be restored.

The storms coming in off the Gulf from a cold front, which spawned strong winds and multiple tornadoes, damaged a mobile home park on Albritton Road in northeastern Manatee County, killing two adults and four children in Duette, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Strong storms and winds continue to pummel the north end of Longboat Key Sunday at the North Shore Road beach access, causing sand to recede between two groins constructed in the area to hold sand.

In Sarasota County, two reported tornadoes came ashore on Siesta Key and damaged several structures.

The Sarasota County Emergency Management Facebook page reported no major injuries but firefighters did rescue two people on Siesta Key after a building collapsed. Damage was reported at condominiums in the 6200 block of Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key and near U.S. 41 and Clark Road in Sarasota County.

The National Weather Service reported a tornado with an estimated width of 300 yards that caused damage in Manatee County had peak winds of 127 mph and was on the ground for 9.2 miles.

Tides from strong storms that came through Longboat Key early Sunday are high, including in Emerald Harbor canals.

The storms came into the area at 3 a.m. and tornado warnings were in effect until 4:45 a.m.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected]

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