MIAMI (CBS4) – Strong thunderstorms rolled through South Florida shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday and brought with them heavy rain, high winds and some lightning. But the weather also brought drier air and cooler temperatures.
The storms caused air traffic problems at both Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale International. MIA saw 24 flights cancelled; along with another 40 delays as of 5 p.m. FLL saw 17 departing delays and 24 arriving delays.
According to the National Weather Service, there were multiple reports of wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Palm Beach International Airport reported sustained winds of 46 miles per hour and gusts of up to 59 mph.
The high winds and downed trees caused power to go out for thousands of South Floridians. FPL said as of 8 p.m. Tuesday night, 700 customers were without power in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, with most of the outages occurring near the county line. Crews are working to have power fully restored to those residents by the end of the night.
CBS4’s Natalia Zea reported from Davie where a tree caused multiple damages to a homeowner Ozzie Sandstrom’s property, including a basketball-sized puncture in his roof and a cracked patio.
Neighbor Ken Hausch said he saw when the storm hit.
“There was a big gust of wind and something like a tornado and the noise it made sounded like the whole tree fell down,” Hausch. “It was pretty loud so I turned around and the tree branch was falling through the roof of the house.”
Sandstrom said the tree that was damaged by the storm is very strong and has survived many hurricanes, even hurricane Andrew.
A CBS4 Viewer sent in pictures of a palm tree that fell over severely damaging the roof of his Hallandale Beach home.
And in Fort Lauderdale, another tree fell. Crews quickly cut it into pieces for removal.
Davie homeowner Cyndi Richards felt the storm’s power first-hand.
“It was very windy out here, the horses were running crazy and everything was blowing sideways,” she told Zea.
When she saw her Rosewood tree bending over she rushed to move her SUV out of the way.
“As it was coming down on top of me I could hear the rest of it squeak and crack,” she said.
The tree fell on the very back of the SUV. Thankfully her house was spared…and so was she.
She thought of the possibility that the tree could have fallen on her.
“That would’ve been a stupid mistake of mine. Yeah. That would’ve been a mistake that I would’ve made to try to move the truck to save it and it would have been a bad situation.”
The storms are part of a squall line that was pushing ahead of a front moving through Florida. Earlier in the day, parts of northern and central Florida were placed under a Tornado Watch.
But, South Florida was never under a watch and only one Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued with the line through 2:45 p.m.
As the storms pass Tuesday, there’s another big change heading to South Florida on the weather front. Lows will drop into the low 60’s inland and mid-to-upper 60’s near the coast due to cooler air behind the front.
Humidity levels will also drop as well and highs Wednesday will be right around 80 degrees. The area will slowly warm back up and be back in the upper 80’s by the weekend.