More than 30,000 without power: Severe thunderstorm causes havoc in Collier County

A severe thunderstorm, packing 60 mph winds and pelting rain, caused havoc in Southwest Florida on Wednesday night.

Reports of power lines down, traffic lights out, which contributed to many accidents and strewn debris from fallen trees filled the emergency scanners as the storm hit just before 8 p.m.

As of 9:45 p.m., 31,000 Florida Power & Light customers were without power along the Southwest coast, company spokesman Mayco Villafana said.

Crews were expected to remain working overnight, with many expected to have power restored by this morning.

“A lot of it is coming back fast, but I would say right now that within the next two to four hours, we’ll have this number down significantly,” Villafana said.

Figures weren’t available for outages in specific cities, though Villafana said “the great majority of those numbers are in the Naples area.”

NBC2 reported that severe thunderstorms flipped cars and knocked over trees and power lines Wednesday evening, leaving people in the dark in Collier County. In East Naples, wind whipped through yards and tore down trees, the TV station reported.

CLICK HERE for NBC2 report: Severe weather hits Collier County

CLICK HERE for the week's forecast from naplesnews.com

POSTED EARLIER

Emergency workers are being bombarded with calls of brush fires, downed power lines, debris in the roads, accidents and traffic lights out all due to a severe thunderstorm that came through Collier County just after 7:30 p.m.

There had been a report of a funnel cloud off Immokalee Road in eastern Collier County but nothing was confirmed.

Heavy rain and winds up to 60 mph were reported. Also trees crashed down on vehicles and homes.

There are several reports of downed power lines and traffic lights on Golden Gate Parkway and Immokalee Road are out.

FPL says 4,000 customers are without power in eastern Bonita Springs. Power has been out in the area since about 7:30 p.m.

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