MIAMI (CBS4) – Residents of Southwest Broward are cleaning up the damage left behind after a severe thunderstorm dropped damaging hail over parts of the County.
It all began about 3:30 p.m. with initial reports of pea-sized hail just south of Miramar, near the intersection of Interstate 75 and Florida’s Turnpike. The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the area, anticipating the storm cell could drop ping pong ball sized hail and damaging wind.
At 4 p.m. the storm was moving to the northeast over Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches at 15 mph and the hail was getting bigger. Quarter-sized hail was reported in Miramar and golf-ball sized hail was reported in Davie and Weston.
Damage was extensive. Downed trees damaged roofs and fences and hail ripped holes through backyard screens and pockmarked cars.
In Southwest Ranches, Frank Perez watched with his family as golf-ball sized hail pelted their home.
“I’ve never seen this. It was so intense for 15 or 20 minutes of just being hit by ice, ice, ice and then hearing that that big thump and winds just swirling around,” said Perez.” It was unbelievable.”
“The weather started to turn dark and this came out of nowhere,” said SW Ranches resident Debbie Mantel.
She said she was outside and saw the storm upend her 24-foot camper.
“We saw it coming and thought, ‘we needed the rain,’ but it was more than expected,” said Randy Ellison.
The hail left a blanket of white on his grass lawn and pockmarks on his cars. Southwest Ranches, Davie, Weston and Pembroke Pines all withstood heavy winds and hail during the fast moving storm.
“Well yesterday when I looked at it I didn’t think too much but then this morning I went up on the roof and saw how bad it really was,” said another Southwest Ranches resident.
During South Florida’s stormy rainy season, severe thunderstorms can produce winds in excess of 60 mph, large hail, deadly lightning and very heavy rainfall. If an alert or warning is issued, the NWS urges everyone to stay inside and away from windows until the storm has passed.