Tuesday, May 13-It's a rare sight in South Florida - a tornado
spawning from ominous clouds and
descending upon an unsuspecting city. The
wister hop-scotched its way through Little
Havana into Downtown Miami and then
moving to the Venetian Causeway before
disappearing over Biscayne Bay. Today,
dozens of residents are picking up the pieces
of what's left of their homes and businesses.
Miraculously, no one was seriously injured.
Monday, May 12- It came up slowly . . . first signs . . . blowing branches and debris from the street-- then suddenly, a funnel cloud appeared over the NBC 6 parking lot and moved quickly across the street with winds in excess of 100-miles per hour.
Within seconds, it moved toward Biscayne Boulevard . . . one spectator caught up in the sight-- perhaps never seen in Downtown Miami before. Then NBC 6's Tower Cam Network picked up the category F1 twister that touched down in the city this afternoon.
Flashes appeared from electrical wires going down-- again and again. Then just three minutes later, just as fast as it arrived, the tornado disappeared-- leaving behind a frightening dark cloud hanging over Downtown Miami . . . and that's when the cleanup began.
South Florida remains under a tornado watch until 9:00 tonight, after a twister swept through Downtown Miami at 1:55 this afternoon. Numerous cameras videotaped the tornado as it moved across Downtown Miami-- leaving damage in several different neighborhoods. There were lots of windows blown out of cars and roofs damaged in areas like Little Havana.
NBC 6's Sky 6 helicopter has spotted damage in several areas, including uprooted trees and downed power lines. Florida Power and Light reports that 5 primary lines were knocked out by the tornado-- leaving 10,000-12,000 customers without power, but FPL crews are still out surveying the damaged caused to power lines.
This is a very rare occurrence for Downtown Miami-- for whatever reason, tornadoes tend to avoid large objects, such as buildings, because there is something about such objects that may interfere with the formation of the tornado. This tornado was unusual, in that it stayed on the ground for a lengthy time-- three minutes, before it dissipated.
But the area is still not out of danger yet-- the area is still under a general tornado watch, because the conditions are still very ripe for the formation of further storms. There is now a redevelopment of thunderstorms, in Northwestern Broward County where a tornado warning exists.
The Red Cross has sent out two emergency response teams to the heavily damaged areas within the City of Miami. Amazingly, no one has been seriously hurt or has been killed-- there have only been a handful of people have reported any tornado-related injuries, at this point.
According to South Florida hospitals that NBC 6 checked with, one victim was in the Jackson Memorial Hospital emergency room; two adults were in the Mercy Hospital emergency room with cuts on their heads; at Mount Sinai Medical Center, one person was also suffering from minor head injuries.
It is possible that others may have been injured by flying debris or glass, and may have bumps and cuts, but are not serious enough to receive medical attention. However, if you are concerned about an injury you have received, you should call or go to the nearest hospital emergency room to seed medical help-- it is better to be safe, than sorry.
Again, South Florida is very lucky that this brush with nature has left only a handful of injuries.