During the early morning hours of January 16, 2022, a severe weather system impacted portions of Southwest Florida generating heavy rain, thunderstorms, strong straight-line winds, and two confirmed tornadoes of EF-1 and EF-2 strengths resulting in widespread power outages and damage in Charlotte and Lee Counties displacing at least 300 individuals from their homes.

Governor DeSantis has declared a State of Emergency is hereby necessary for the limited purpose of receiving assistance for the impacted areas and residences.

The directive states “Because of the foregoing conditions, I declare that a state of emergency exists in Charlotte and Lee Counties,” it states. “I designate the Director of the Division of Emergency Management …as the State Coordinating Officer for the duration of this emergency and direct him to execute the State’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and other response, recovery, and mitigation plans necessary to cope with the emergency.”