Sheriff: Severe weather destroys 3 homes, damages another 17 in Okeechobee County

NWS confirms EF2 tornado hit Okeechobee County
Posted at 11:26 AM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 14:53:13-04

The National Weather Service is in Okeechobee County on Friday to survey the damage from fast-moving storms that left a path of destruction.  

The NWS confirms that an EF2 tornado hit the Fort Drum area. Experts estimate winds reached 115 miles per hour.

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Three homes were destroyed by the tornado and another 17 were damaged Thursday.

"By the grace of God, no one died," Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen said."You can't do anything to help these folks right now … Some of these folks may not even have insurance. I don't know how I can help them.”

A woman was injured and taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Her exact condition was not known.

“You don’t know what to do. You don’t’ know whether… to start picking, start cleaning or start crying,” Rodney Kemple said when he saw that his mobile home had been destroyed.

Fort Drum Community Church was set up as a shelter for those affected by the severe weather.

Campers were overturned near Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park by a downburst of 80 mile per hour winds, the National Weather Service said Friday afternoon.

On US 441 near Fort Drum fallen limbs blocked streets.  At mile markers 183 and 184 several wrecks were reported on the Turnpike.

There were also multiple reports of hail in Vero Beach and other areas of Indian River County.