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Strong cold front spawns at least 5 tornadoes across southwest Florida

The most severe tornado, an EF-2, had estimated winds of 118 mph.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — At least 100 mobile homes were damaged and 30 destroyed as a strong EF-2 tornado swept through parts of southwest Florida early Sunday morning.

It was, so far, the strongest of the day's twisters. National Weather Service data shows there were at least five separate reports of tornadoes across the region, with most around Fort Myers and Naples. Investigations remain ongoing into the others' severity.

The EF-2 tornado touched down at around 7:35 a.m. in the Iona area, with an estimated peak wind at 118 mph. At least three people were injured when the tornado went through three mobile home communities, including Point Breeze, Tropicana and Century 21, according to the weather service.

One-hundred and eight mobile homes were damaged and 30 destroyed — some were found wiped off their foundation. About 51 homes had major damage.

A waterspout-turned-tornado occurred around 6:37 a.m. near Placida, damaging 35 homes and a marina storage facility, the weather service says. It had an estimated peak wind at 110 mph — an EF-1 tornado.

Another tornado with estimated peak winds at 85 mph, an EF-0, was reported in the Victoria Falls neighborhood west of Collier Boulevard. A couple of homes suffered roof damage, while trees were uprooted and branches downed.

The tornadoes were associated with a strong wintertime cold front that swept through much of the Southeast. There were few reports of damage in the Clearwater area from thunderstorms that rolled through while, farther north, the system brought heavy ice and snow to much of the Carolinas.