ELLENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Severe weather moved through northern Manatee County Sunday evening, leaving a mess in the Colony Cove community.
It was initially estimated that up to 17 homes were damaged, but county officials told 8 On Your Side after further assessments Monday morning, a total of 31 homes were damaged. Four of those mobile homes had serious damage, according to a Manatee County spokesperson.
Residents said the storm moved through the area quickly, leaving behind more destruction than anticipated from an afternoon summer storm.
“We have been down here for 17 years and fortunately, we have never suffered any damage, even through the hurricanes, but this was, four or five spots that really got hit bad,” said resident Joe Kotowicz.
Kotowicz said he’s thankful no one was hurt.
Members of the community are already working on ways to help the families impacted, many of who do not carry insurance.
“The situation is that many here do not have insurance because they cannot afford insurance,” said Colony Cove HOA president Darlene Kornacker. “We are here to help. We are developing a program to help the people.”
The management company did not allow us on property as county crews were assessing damage Monday, but Eagle 8 HD flew over the mobile home community, capturing some of the damage from the sky. We saw a lot of twisted metal, carports lifted from the ground and even a mobile home missing its roof.
“Even though it was a thunderstorm for most of us, for this area, obviously some kind of extreme weather event happened with that many homes damaged in that small of a space,” said Commissioner James Satcher.
With the peak portion of hurricane season right around the corner, local public safety officials urge the public to be prepared with a plan.
“We want citizens to know to be prepared, especially this time of the year. Be ready to go at any point in time. That is why we encourage having a kit and knowing where they would evacuate,” said deputy director of public safety in Manatee County Steve Litschauer.