updated 9/17/2007 3:04:46 PM ET 2007-09-17T19:04:46

As many as 150 homes were damaged by a powerful tornado that swept off the Gulf of Mexico and plowed into this southwest Florida city, officials said Monday. One person suffered minor injuries from flying debris.

Thunderstorms that spawned the tornado hit Cape Coral around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

"Water was pouring in through the windows, it soaked everything," said Jessica Gibson, whose apartment building roof was partly torn off.

Daniel Noah at the National Weather Service said the tornado started as a water spout over Fort Myers Beach and moved north into Cape Coral. He estimated the winds speeds were between 90 and 110 mph.

One minor injury from flying debris was reported after the tornado, which damaged dozens of houses, apartments and other buildings, city spokeswoman Connie Barron said. Cape Coral's chief inspector, Bill Selvia, told the News-Press of Fort Myers on Monday that the final damage estimate could be in the millions of dollars.

At the Silver Sands Resort, the tornado toppled a tiki bar and tore the roof off two units, owner Tom Groves said.

"It threw all the chairs into the pool — just made a general mess," Groves said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments