Stories Of Survival Emerging From Broward Tornado Debris

SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – Naresh Nasta was just sitting down for a meal in his Sunrise home Tuesday night when his home began exploding all around him.

Nasta, 70, was barefoot in his pajamas.

“I could see things falling on my left, on my right, in front, in back,” Nasta told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.  “It was just a miracle that nothing of the heavy stuff fell on my head.”

Nasta said the roof over the dining area caved in just feet from where he was sitting. He said pieces of the roof and drywall started raining down around him as he struggled to make it to the front door.

As Nasta emerged dazed into his front yard, neighbors greeted him, already on their way to check on the longtime resident of the New Orleans Estates. Nasta was an original owner in the community 30 years ago.

Nasta and one of his sons, Raj, spend part of the day Thursday gathering any belongings that were salvageable. They loaded a car with clothes, computer equipment, pictures and important documents.

As Raj looked at the house, one thought kept returning to his mind — how did his father survive.

“He must have had an angel looking over him,” Raj told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “It’s just a miracle.”

Nasta is not certain whether he wants to rebuild. It’s a decision he’ll mull over while he lives with his son.

As workers boarded up Nasta’s home, parts of New Orleans Estates were alive with activity Thursday as insurance agents, construction workers and homeowners tried to return some sense of order to their lives.

The same was true in the neighborhood of Sawgrass in Plantation, a block south of New Orleans Estates.

Mailboxes were propped up on tree stumps, clean up crews cut down damaged trees and workers tried to keep debris out of the streets.

Maria Alonso said the home she shares with her husband and three kids sustained damage and her insurance company was quick to respond and get her the help she needed.

“Yesterday they came and boarded things up and as you can see they tarped us already so we were able to sleep last night,” Alonso said.

Damage totals from the tornado that slammed into several communities in western Broward Tuesday night are still emerging. The tornado packed winds of up to 120 miles per hour and even though it left a swath of destruction a mile long, only minor injuries were reported.

By Thursday afternoon, reports indicated that more than 50 homes were damaged in Plantation, most in the Sunshine City Mobile Home Park. According to Joel Gordon, with the Plantation Fire Department, 10 of the homes in the park are uninhabitable.

In Sunrise, at least two dozen homes in the New Orleans Estates community sustained damage with at least 7 being deemed unsafe structures.

Bruce Moeller, Sunrise City Manager, said officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency toured the community Thursday. Moeller said the city is awaiting word on whether federal, state or local disaster relief funding would be forthcoming.

Gordon said federal disaster aid appeared unlikely but added that city leaders are pushing for Small Business loans for residents who need help repairing their homes.

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