The National Weather Service in Miami has confirmed that two EF-O tornadoes twirled their way through Broward County on Tuesday afternoon. The twisters took out power to about 9,000 residents and caused hundreds of flight delays and cancellations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
More storms are forecast for Wednesday, although it’s not likely that conditions will be nearly as severe.
The tornadoes joined heavy rains, wind, dangerous lightning, and hail that swept through South Florida. Between 3:30 p.m. and just after 4:30 p.m. both tornadoes touched down – one in downtown Fort Lauderdale width winds of 65 mph, and one northwest of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with peak winds at 84 mph.
Broward County residents began reporting funnel cloud sightings in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area around 3:30 p.m. The system brought a large tree down onto a housetop at NW 7th Terrace. The Red Cross provided assistance to the residents.
Airport authorities confirmed the severe conditions caused a 2-½ hour closure of the north runway in order to give crews time to remove debris. More than 220 flights were delayed and at least 18 were cancelled.
From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue teams responded to at least 38 calls, mostly due to weather-related issues. Downed power lines, small fires, and one person hit by a vehicle were reported. There were no fatalities.
The last of the weather warnings ended at 5 p.m.