DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents of a mobile home park in Davie said a tornado, which has not been confirmed by meteorologists, caused extensive damage to their homes, as a line of thunderstorms swept across South Florida throughout the day.
Monday’s possible tornado strike happened as heavy rains and winds blew through Broward County.
Diego López, one of the mobile home park residents, said he saw a funnel cloud.
“I was outside, and I seen the tornado coming from there. It started right there, and it came this way, and it went that way,” he said. “I don’t know how many houses it hit afterwards.”
López said he sought shelter inside his home and said the tornado caused part of his roof to collapse.
“We had to run to the back of the house because that whole part started flying away,” he said. “We were just talking, and then she goes, ‘Oh, there’s a tornado warning,’ and I’m like, ‘For real?’ And right after, she said that it started.”
“I came outside. I see everything blown down. My thing blown off in the house,” said area resident Daniel Jones.
“It was like a train. I heard it,” said resident Pete Deluca. “Moved my golf cart 10 feet away. The brake was on. That’s how I knew something had happened, and then I saw [my neighbors’] house.”
Officials said one home was destroyed, but another damaged home should be able to be fixed.
“The main concern was the structural damage, and so, I actually came upon it initially and immediately evacuated the occupants, made sure they were moved to a safe area,” said Davie Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Andrew Popick. “I had my crew go out through the development to check to see if there was any other life-threatening damage or anybody else in need of any type of rescue. There was none found.”
At Indian Ridge Middle School, the roofs of some portable classrooms were also left damaged. The damaged classrooms will not affect students at the school because class has dismissed for the summer.
Richard Falero’s business sits next door to Indian Ridge Middle School. His surveillance cameras captured the quick but intense storm.
“We were outside cleaning up for the day, and we were hearing like a humming,” Falero said. “It was like a freight train coming, and when we looked down the aisle of the roadway, we could see the waterspout coming.”
“It was way more than just a storm,” Falero added. “I’ll tell you: our next door neighbors’ package was lifted up and thrown on the roof, and on my side, we also had our fresh air intake that was also tossed around on the roof.”
On Alligator Alley, near Mile Marker 31, driver Ernesto Delhonte said his SUV was struck by lightning.
“I am a survivor,” he said. “It sounded, ‘Boom! Boom!’ I’m going through the road, and [the SUV] was hit by lightning. I saw a light, and the car is broken.”
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said the lightning may have hit the road first.
Delhonte said he’s a bit dizzy, but he’s grateful to have survived.
“I’m alive. It’s a miracle for me,” he said.
Two Pompano Beach city employees had a close call as well, when lightning hit near their boat. They were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
A palm tree toppled over in Lauderhill at an apartment complex along Northwest 56th Avenue. Building inspectors assessed the damage, and they said the building is safe.
The inclement weather also caused flooding along A1A and some downed trees. Floodwater could also be seen throughout parts of Plantation, Fort Lauderdale and Lauderhill, bringing some drivers to a standstill.
“I’m going to visit a friend here, and I got stuck right in here,” Jerry Moradi, whose car stalled, said. “It’s terrible the way it is. I’m waiting for the roadside assistance. Hopefully, I get somebody to come and help. I don’t know what to do. I’m in the middle of nowhere.”
Back in Davie, the residents of the mobile home park said they feel lucky the outcome wasn’t worse.
“As long as nobody was hurt, it’s just physical damage. That can be repaired,” said Deluca.
The residents of the home that was declared a total loss said they were in the middle of renovating it, and now they have to start over from scratch.
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