DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A strong storm that passed through South Florida knocked down a large tree in Deerfield Beach and set off a siren during a demonstration in Hallandale Beach.
Witnesses said the massive tree barely missed nearby homes along Emerald Way, Friday night.
7News cameras captured part of the uprooted tree still in front of homes, Saturday evening.
Craig and Denyse Peterson live feet away from where it fell.
“There was a big crack and a thud,” Craig said. “I can’t even describe the strength that it took of the wind to pull that thing down. Normally, we see a canopy over us. This time it was laying in front of us, so we had to walk around, and the bottom of the tree is standing up now.”
Peterson added that he heard hail and heavy wind, and when they came outside to survey any possible damage, they found the massive tree toppled over.
“It sounded like a freight train,” area resident Joseph Romero said.
“We thought maybe a branch or something had fallen,” Denyse said. “We were surprised at the size of the tree and that it had actually pulled out of the ground completely, and so it’s lying on its side.”
“I’ve seen trees taken up before, but not by nature of this magnitude,” area resident Will Bennett said.
7News cameras captured broken branches, upended roots and debris scattered along the residential street.
Neighbors said the winds were so strong that their homes shook.
“The hail was hitting the windows, and I heard a lot of wind. I put the storm shutters down,” Romero said.
The Petersons said they are counting their blessings that the situation was not worse.
“It could have landed on our house, on the roof, on our cars, even the mailbox, so it really fell in the perfect place that it didn’t hit anything important,” Denyse said.
“God spared us,” Craig said. “It could have definitely been worse. There’s no question about it.”
No homes were damaged due to the tree falling, and no injuries were reported.
In Hallandale Beach, the storm set off the lightning detection system during a Juneteenth commemoration event on Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
Shortly after the siren went off, a downpour ensued.
Residents on Emerald Way, meanwhile, said Friday night’s inclement weather served as an early warning of the strength of Mother Nature’s powerful punch.
“Thank goodness no property was damaged, but it’s quite a sight,” Bennett said.
“If this is any indication of what the storms are going to be like this year, watch out, folks,” Romero said.
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