2 tornadoes spotted during stormy afternoon in Fort Lauderdale

Severe storms causes delays at Fort Lauderdale airport, minor damage


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two tornadoes were spotted near Fort Lauderdale as severe storms passed through Broward County on Tuesday afternoon.

Several dozen flights in and out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were delayed due to the storms. By 8 p.m., the airport's operations has mostly returned to normal.

Greg Meyer, a spokesman for the airport, said a tornado touched down about 4:30 p.m. on the northwest part of the airport. The tornado briefly shut down a runway, damaged a small private plane and blew luggage trolleys into the airfield, Meyer said. That runway reopened about 7 p.m. 

The tornado, which was about 40 yard wide and reached speeds of about 84 mph, moved to the extreme southern end of Port Everglades, where it damaged multiple cargo containers. Witnesses reported that portable toilets were tossed about amid the heavy winds. 

Another tornado was seen touching land just north of Las Olas Boulevard and Broward Boulevard. The downtown tornado, which was about 60 yards wide and reached speed of about 65 mph, was spotted overhead just after 3:36 p.m

The National Weather Service said the tornado knocked over construction fencing and barriers. The tornado then moved southeast across Flagler Village, leading to minor tree damage.

The tornado touched down again south of the Tarpon River in the Rio Vista neighborhood, causing minor damage to trees and displaced trash cans. The weather service said the tornado may have eventually morphed into a waterspout that spotted near the Southeast 17th Street Causeway. 

Using the Enhanced Fujita scale, the weather service classified both tornadoes as EF-0 or weak. The most severe tornadoes, rated EF-5, reach wind speeds of more than 200 mph.

Sky 10 was above a home at 422 NW Seventh Terrace that had a tree fall down on its roof.

At least two Tornado Warnings were issued during the afternoon, with the last one expiring in the Dania Beach/Port Everglades area at 5 p.m.

Along with heavy rains, the storms brought dime-sized hail through the area.

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