FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A line of severe storms swept through South Florida overnight with a tornado touching down in Plantation.
At 1:27 a.m., the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for east Central Broward after radar captured a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado located over Plantation and moving to the northeast at 40 mph. The warning ended at 2 a.m.
Strong winds sent debris flying and toppled some tree branches.
Plantation Fire posted on Twitter that there was a possible tornado touchdown between Nob Hill and NW 6 Street through to Cleary and NW 98th.
“It was very scary,” said Joseph Pomponio. “It looked kind of like a hurricane.”
Pomponio and his neighbors at Waterford Courtyards near Cleary Boulevard and Nob Hill were jolted out of bed when the tornado’s 95 mph winds whipped around trees outside.
“The roof started shaking a little and the walls were shaking, my cat went and hid,” Pomponio said. “And we have lights that hang and when they shook you could see the dust come off of them. It was very scary.”
Residents said several trees were toppled, some onto vehicles.
“Wow, we never thought it was going to be like this,” said Joseph Paipilla.
Paipilla had a sense of humor about it.
“I said ‘Wow, I’m glad I didn’t buy a new car,'” he chuckled. “It’s an old car of mine so it’s not as bad for me for some people who lost their car,” he said.
Neighbors, seeing the damage left behind in the early morning light, said they looked out their windows at the height of the storm and all they could see was white. They also described its sound as “frightening.”
“It woke us up, the noise was really really hard. Not even the hurricane was this type of noise,” said Paipilla.
But not everyone was up.
Luz Consuegara, whose minivan was crushed by a falling tree, slept through the whole thing.
“I’m sleeping, everybody’s sleeping, I don’t hear anything, I don’t hear no noise and I have one dog and my dog is not barking,” said Consuegara.
The fire department said they did not receive any reports of structure damage. They added the downed trees also caused another problem – blocked roads.
“I can’t go to school now,” said Abby Strom as she tried to leave. “There’s like a tree right there blocking where you get out of the parking section.”
All the roads had been cleared ny 10:30 a.m.
Just before noon, the National Weather Service confirmed that it was an EF-1 tornado that touched down with winds around 95 mph.
“A lot of shallow rooted large trees were toppled but we also saw some sturdier Oak trees that were snapped, so that gives us an indication that the winds were over 80 miles an hour,” said meteorologist Robert Garcia.
The winds were strong enough to cause serious harm, but thankfully no injuries were reported.
“When I see my car I say, ‘Oh my God, what happened here’ but I’m happy because, thank God, my life is fine, everybody’s fine, the car is material,” said Consuegara.
With the heavy storms out of the way, Tuesday’s weather will be a mix of sun and clouds with a high around 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooler weather is on the way. Wednesday’s high will only be in the low 70s with overnight temps in low 50s.