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Lightning Strike Damages South Florida Airport Runway, Home

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maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A lightning strike caused damage to a major South Florida airport while other parts of the area experienced severe weather Sunday afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a lightning strike caused damage to one of the runways at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on Sunday, June 8th.

The Broward County Aviation Department distributed pictures of the damage.

Watch Maggie Newland’s report.

A severe thunderstorm was over the airport. Lightning struck, causing three holes in the runway forcing them to close it, officials said.

Click here for a slideshow of the damage.

After the storm passed, they were able to patch the holes and reopen the runway after a little more than an hour.

Travel was at a stand-still with 27 flights diverted and dozens of other flights delayed due to the bad weather in South Florida and in the northeastern U.S.

“They haven’t told me anything just sent me a text message saying it’s due to weather, but in Philadelphia it’s 90 degrees right now,” said Harry Julian.

Julian will be several hours late getting home from vacation. “I’m here for approximately four hours,” he said.  “So I’ll be leaving out around 8:20 p.m.”

While Joe Edwards and his new bride will be getting a late start on their honeymoon, they had already arrived at the airport and heard the unfortunate announcement.

“The runway had been closed due to, I guess, lightning striking with the storms,” Edwards said. “We missed our flight so we had to get stuck here.”

It was the second delay for the newlyweds’ trip.

“I got married Saturday, last Saturday, so we were supposed to be in The Bahamas coming home this week, but no passport now. We had to wait for passports, now we’re finally getting to go to The Bahamas,” said Edwards.

At Miami International Airport the rain poured and lightning flashed too.  More than 40 flights were delayed or diverted there in Miami-Dade County.   Heavy rain and windshield wipers were going full speed as traffic was often slow moving in the storm.

Just before 2:00 p.m. the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a significant weather advisory for eastern Miami-Dade due to a line of strong storms extending for eight miles near Florida City and moving North. They reported excessive lightning, winds from 45 to 55 miles per hour, nickel-sized hail and torrential downpours.  The advisory lasted until 2:45 p.m.

Another significant advisory was issued just before 3:00 p.m. for Central Miami-Dade County saying there is excessive lightning and winds of 45 to 55 miles per hour. The advisory lasted until 3:30 p.m.

Officials also said they received reports of pea hail in Miami Shores.

In Wilton Manors, a tree fell on Diego Rios’ car.

June 8. 2014: A tree seen on top of a Wilton Manors resident's car.  (Source: Matt Little, FLFD)

June 8. 2014: A tree seen on top of a Wilton Manors resident’s car. (Source: Matt Little, FLFD)

In Davie, up to a quarter-sized hail was reported.

Lightning also struck a home at NE 5 Avenue and 170 Street in Miami-Dade County.

Jocelol Noel said smoke filled the home.

“We smell smoke in the house and when I check the kids said there was lightning inside the house,” said  Noel.  “At first, a lot of smoke, but when I turn around there was fire in the back.”

The fire was put out and the family was not injured.

Click here for more information on weather or follow @CBS4Weather on Twitter.

June 8, 2014: Lightning struck a home at NE 5 Avenue and 170 Street in Miami-Dade County. (Source: CBS4)

June 8, 2014: Lightning struck a home at NE 5 Avenue and 170 Street in Miami-Dade County. (Source: CBS4)

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