FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - While South Florida has been spared a direct hit from Tropical Storm Elsa, the system’s feeder bands brought heavy rains and gusty winds to the region, resulting in flooded streets, power outages to thousands of residents and at least one airborne balcony chair.
7News cameras and cellphone video sent in by viewers captured downpours and rough surf in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Monday.
“Always concerned about the storms in South Florida, right?” said a car passenger as he recorded video of the rainfall.
Cameras also showed heavy flooding near Mary Brickell Village in Miami.
The storm was strong enough to produce at least one flying projectile, a chair in Sunny Isles Beach.
Resident David Vergel had already cleared his seventh-floor balcony of furniture in anticipation of Elsa.
“Just in case, so nothing falls over and injures someone, just to be safe,” he said.
But someone in a nearby building was perhaps not as safety-minded. When Vergel spotted the chair, he grabbed his cellphone and recorded the piece of furniture as it hurtled to the ground below.
“I noticed the chair fall from that building over here, and the chair flew off and fell onto the pool deck below,” he said.
David’s video showed a woman in that area just seconds before.
“Pretty scary,” he said.
Elsa’s feeder bands came and went, alternating heavy rain with gray skies and at least one downed power line.
As of 8 p.m. Monday, Florida Power and Light reported 441 customers in Miami-Dade and 1,045 in Broward without power.
In a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood, the only hurricane spotted on Monday was resident David Epstein, who sported the University of Miami Hurricanes’ colors and carried an umbrella with the team’s logo.
Epstein was among those who lost electricity.
“I think the infrastructure in South Florida is generally pretty good,” he said. “I mean, we’ve learned over the years, going back, certainly, to Hurricane Andrew, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t lose power from time to time.”
Back in Miami-Dade, County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava urged residents to remain indoors.
“If you do not need to be out tonight, please try to stay home to avoid any potentially dangerous conditions,” she said.
The waves of heavy wind gusts and driving rain slowed down search and rescue efforts at the site of the partial collapse of Champlain Towers’ South building in Surfside, hours after the part of the structure that was still standing was demolished. Staying home for these crews was not an option.
FPL officials said they are mobilizing in other parts of Florida in anticipation of the storm, which is expected to make landfall somewhere on the West Coast.
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