Tornado On Manasota Key Florida

Paul Morrone |

By Tom Morrone, CFP ®, CPA

I have alluded to FL numerous times in my writings and specifically Manasota Key. The key is a beautiful place on the Gulf of Mexico that has everything that would be expected of a beach community.

The key is very tranquil and has a certain Jimmy Buffet feeling about it. We have been going to the key since 1998 so we know are way around and have seen so many changes to the area over the years. We have also seen some interesting weather in that time covering all facets that you would think of when referring to FL. The no name thunderstorms can be pretty intense even though they are not tropical storms or hurricanes. Many people can say they have endured a hurricane and in the northeast we recently had the one two punch of Sandy and Irene. The damage caused by the storm surge can be devastating. Wind damage is another item all together. It is quick, ferocious and has no conscious. Recently I saw this ugliness on Manasota Key.

This past March 13th, a thunderstorm system came on shore directly over the Gulf. It was like many other storms we have seen but this time we lost power. It was the first time that ever happened. Out came the candles and flashlights and the worst thing we had to deal with was the chirping coming from our smoke detectors indicating that the backup batteries needed replacing. Buddy did not care for that high pitched noise. Some 9 volt batteries and we were back in business and the power came on within an hour. All was back to normal...or so we thought.

The next morning there was talk of a tornado hitting up the street. A mile up the road looked like a war zone. There was a path of maybe 300 yards of devastation from the Gulf of Mexico across the key to the bay side. It looked like King Kong came through and was really angry. Trees were uprooted or snapped in half everywhere. There were telephone poles and power lines strewn about. Debris was up in the trees and pieces of buildings were everywhere. The roofs of several buildings and homes were partially or completed lifted off. Windows shattered and screens ripped to shreds. There was a pontoon boat lifted from the water and on its side against a group of trees. It was surreal. It is truly a miracle that no one was killed or even seriously injured. We were talking to a man who said he had intense pressure in his ears and then a loud clap and it was over in 15-20 seconds. The building rumbled around him.

Both Cathy and I felt so deeply saddened at the destruction of so many beautiful structures. We send our well wishes to all those people that were in the path of the tornado. Many of those who were affected that we talked to all said something similar......."it could have been worse and we're thankful we are alive". 

A tornado is not a good thing. We are very thankful in that the twister could have just as easily hit our complex.

Until the Next Tom's Take...