Strong storms, power failures slam Broward, Palm Beach

Sun Sentinel

Strong thunderstorms rumbled across central Broward and southPalm Beach counties on Thursday afternoon, producing wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, heavy downpours and power outages.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were posted across South Florida in the mid to late afternoon, although most have now been discontinued.

Wind gusts of more than 50 mph were registered in several locations in Broward County and a gust of 61 mph was recorded in Pompano Beach at about 3:30 p.m., said meteorologist Roberto Garcia of the National Weather Service inMiami.

In Fort Lauderdale,Fire-Rescue workers responded to a traffic signal that was hanging 2 feet from the street at the intersection of Broward Boulevard and Andrews Avenue.

The rescue workers also had to deal with downed power lines at 1200 N. Atlantic Blvd., 3100 W. Broward Blvd., 1239 SW 35th Ave. and Northeast 21st Street at Middle River Drive.

More power lines were reported down on Griffin Road near Bonaventure Boulevard, nearWeston.

Florida Power and Light reported as many as 23,000 customers were without power as a result of the storms but by 9 p.m. that was down to 5,500 including 4,000 in Broward, 1,200 inMiami-Dade and 300 in Palm Beach County.

There was no estimate on full power restoration because more storms were expected to disrupt repair efforts, FPL spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said.

More than three dozen incoming flights were delayed or diverted by the severe storms, according to local airport officials.

The storms were the result of lots of heat and moisture in the atmosphere, Garcia said.

Staff writer Wayne K. Roustan contributed to this story.




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