A tornado damaged a home on Cudjoe Key on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. CONTRIBUTED

A tornado moved across Cudjoe Key and Little and Big Torch Keys at about 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, the National Weather Service in Key West told Keys Weekly.

No injuries were reported Sunday night. But one neighborhood on Cudjoe Key was left with damaged homes and property.

A unit at the Venture Out Resort, a mobile and manufactured home complex on Cudjoe Key, was left with major damage, while other homes were hit as the tornado moved out into the ocean.

“Most importantly, no one was injured,” read a Venture Out announcement sent out to residents on Sunday, which described the event as a “tornado touchdown” inside the gated community.

A roof from another home rests at a unit at Venture Out Resort on Cudjoe Key, on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. A tornado passed over the area, the National Weather Service in Key West confirmed.

NWS said they sent a survey team to assess the damage, and a storm report will be available likely sometime Tuesday morning.

The tornado overturned a shed and damaged roofs, windows and awnings. Patio furniture was overturned or thrown into canals.

“Enough damage to be aggravating,” a person who was on the scene 15 minutes after the tornado passed told Keys Weekly.

NWS said they sent a survey team to assess the damage, and a storm report will be available likely sometime Tuesday morning. Presidents Day, a federal holiday, is Monday, Feb. 19.

The stormy weather triggered a power outage from 1:05-1:15 p.m. for more than 1,300 Keys Energy customers at Jolly Roger Estates on Little Torch Key.

First responders were at the scene on Cudjoe Key on Sunday. So were many concerned locals.

“We had owners, renters and contractors all show up to help out,” the Venture Out announcement said. “Thank you to everyone who came out to see if they could help.”

Gwen Filosa
Gwen Filosa is The Keys Weekly’s Digital Editor, and has covered Key West news, culture and assorted oddities since she moved to the island in 2011. She was previously a reporter for the Miami Herald and WLRN public radio. Before moving to the Keys, Gwen was in New Orleans for a decade, covering criminal courts for The Times-Picayune. In 2006, the paper’s staff won the Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news and the Public Service Medal for their coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She remains a devout Saints fan. She has a side hustle as a standup comedian, and has been a regular at Comedy Key West since 2017. She is also an acclaimed dogsitter, professional Bingo caller and a dedicated Wilco fan.