2 tornadoes touch down, strong storms wreak havoc in Broward

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Strong winds and downpours wreaked havoc across Broward County and in parts of Miami-Dade on Tuesday, triggering reports of tornadoes and hail, knocking out power to hundreds of homes and causing a woman to be displaced after a tree came crashing down on her home.

Broward residents recorded cellphone video of a funnel cloud that was spotted, Tuesday afternoon. The footage captured debris flying into the air.

Hours later, the National Weather Service confirmed two EF0 tornadoes touched down, one in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, and the other one near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The second twister made for frightening moments for passengers on board a plane at FLL. Cellphone video captured audio of the pilot as he tried to keep the travelers calm.

The inclement weather forced officials to close the airport’s north runway for nearly three hours, causing dozens of flights to be affected.

But those tense moments pale in comparison to what Fort Lauderdale resident Iris Walker went through.

“As I looked toward the window, ‘boom’! And I just froze,” she said.

Walker said she’s lived in the house, located along Northwest Seventh Terrace, for 21 years.

Iris Walker

The resident said she’s seen hurricanes come and go, but Tuesday’s storm has forced her out.

“Water was coming down. I had to regain my composure, ’cause I said to myself, ‘I see the sky,'” she said as she held back tears, “and when you see the sky, that means devastation is on the way. It ain’t no time to panic.”

The American Red Cross is helping Walker relocate.

Cellphone video captured hail coming down in a residential neighborhood in Davie.

Aerial cameras showed flooded roads in Pompano Beach.

Along Interstate 95, traffic was nearly at a standstill near Griffin Road.

Across the county line, heavy rains soaked parts of Miami Beach.

Fortunately, there were no reports of serious injuries.

That’s something Walker is grateful for. “God knows it could have been me,” she said. “It could’ve been me. I could’ve been finished.”

As of 12:49 p.m on Wednesday,  Florida Power and Light reported 165 homes in Broward and 222 homes in Miami-Dade still without power.

Walker’s church, Mount Hermon AME, is collecting money from anyone who would like to help her get back on her feet. If you would like to make a donation, call 954-463-6309 or send an email to Info@mthermonftl.com.

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