MARCO ISLAND — A tornado watch is in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday for Collier, Glades, Hendry, Broward and Palm Beach counties. This includes Naples, LaBelle, Moore Haven, Clewiston, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Strong thunderstorms and wind gusts are expected, with lightning possible in these areas, the National Weather Service reported.
A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes in and close to the watch area.
A tornado was spotted near San Marco Road and U.S. 41 East about 11:45 a.m. Sunday, emergency dispatchers reported. No injuries were reported.
Eyewitnesses told authorities funnel cloud was heading in a north, northwest direction. Initial reports were that the tornado touched down near a gas station by Collier County sheriff's deputies arrived on scene to find no injuries with nothing hazardous to report.
A tornado, possibly the same one, also was spotted near Immokalee Road and Everglades Boulevard around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, dispatchers reported. That funnel was in a rural area and heading north, also toward unpopulated areas, officials said. No injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, about 13,000 Marco Island electrical power customers remained without power Sunday morning after an outage caused all 18,500 island customers to lose power.
LCEC crews restored power to about 5,000 customers around 10:15 a.m., said Karen Ryan, an LCEC spokeswoman based in North Fort Myers.
A major transmission line on Isles of Capri around 6:45 a.m. stopped feeding the island power, Ryan said. She said she did not know the cause but suspected it was storm-related.
Another 400 FPL customers remained without power in other parts of Collier, said Bryan Garner, an FPL spokesman. There were no outages reported elsewhere in Collier or in Lee County, he said.