Waterspout reported in Fort Myers Beach, minor property damage seen at Lani Kai
A waterspout came ashore Saturday afternoon near the Lani Kai resort on Fort Myers Beach, the National Weather Service confirmed.
"Essentially, because a waterspout is basically a tornado over water, that means that the waterspout ended up being a tornado as it moved onshore," said Ross Giarratana, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tampa.
Based on a video circulating and reports they've received, Giarratana said the tornado dissipated quickly. No injuries have been reported.
When it comes to waterspouts, meteorologists use the Enhanced Fujita scale to measure the force, although Giarratana said they couldn't measure the exact force in this case off the video.
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As the waterspout came ashore, restaurant-goers and tourists were seated outdoors at Shucker's At The Gulfshore, a local beachfront restaurant.
"I was just trying to check out a patch at a table because it started to rain a little heavy," said Lisa Wanjiku, a waitress at Shucker's. "When I turned around it was picking up chairs and strollers, and trashcans were flying all over the place."
Wanjiku said the experience was like nothing she's seen before. "It's kind of shocking," she added.
"It was kind of like a scary commotion with everybody, but it was also just kind of shocking to see tourists still standing out on the beach because they didn't understand what was going on," she said.
The waterspout resulted in minor property damage at the Lani Kai Island Resort, a nearby business on Fort Myers Beach.
"We're having a beer, and there's like (a) huge swell of wind and part of the side of the bar kind of fell," Scott Trevino, who was at the Lani Kai, told The News-Press.
The News-Press reached out to the resort for further comment on the extent of the damage, but workers would not comment on the situation.
In Collier County, more than 4,500 have experienced power outages due to Saturday's stormy weather, Florida Power & Light reports.
Tomas Rodriguez is a Breaking/Live News Reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. You can reach Tomas at TRodriguez@gannett.com or 772-333-5501. Follow him on Twitter @TomasFRoBeltran.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Fort Myers Beach waterspout causes minor property damage at Lani Kai