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Tornadoes touched down in Fort Lauderdale, displacing homeowner, snarling traffic

Storm clouds swirl from system that produced tornado in downtown Fort Lauderdale

Storm clouds swirl from system that produced tornado in downtown Fort Lauderdale on April 10, 2018.
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Storm clouds swirl from system that produced tornado in downtown Fort Lauderdale on April 10, 2018.

UPDATE: The National Weather Service confirmed that two EF0 tornadoes touched down in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday during an afternoon of nasty weather.

One tornado touched down in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. The other near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, leading to flight delays and some nervous passengers who had to wait on the tarmac as rains and wind pelted their plane on the ground.

One woman's home on Northwest Seventh Terrace took on water as a tree battered the roof. Power was out for a couple thousand homes for hours. Storms wreaked havoc with the rush hour commute.

A funnel cloud was reported in the Port Everglades area of Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday afternoon around 3:35 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. A second tornado was located near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport around 4:30 p.m. and moved east at 25 mph, according to the weather service.

The nasty weather is in keeping with a National Weather Service tornado warning alert that was in effect until 4 p.m. Tuesday. A tornado warning for the Dania Beach area was issued until 5 p.m. A severe thunderstorm alert is also in effect for southeastern Broward County until 5 p.m.

The earlier funnel cloud in downtown Fort Lauderdale, at about 3:35 p.m., was moving east at 10 mph, meteorologist Chuck Caracozza said during the tornado warning period.

"People in that area should stay inside and take shelter," Caracozza said.

The weather service said the tornado could head through Wilton Manors, Oakland Park and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

By 4:15 p.m., the storm had moved offshore, but heavy storms are still expected as the weather system moves into west and north Broward county. The second tornado was seen near the airport.

Arriving and departing flights at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were delayed due to the weather.

"Sitting on the tarmac [at] FLL watching a #Tornado touch down is a #first in my career," read a Twitter post at 4:52 p.m.

"Patio windows are shaking; possible tornado like winds here in Weston," a resident posted on Twitter around 4:20 p.m.

A tree fell on a home's roof on Northwest Seventh Terrace in Fort Lauderdale, WPLG-Local 10 reported.

WSVN7 identified the homeowner as Iris Walker, who told the station she'd been through hurricanes in the 21 years she lived in her home. But Tuesday's winds and rain forced her to leave.

"As I looked toward the window, boom! ... Water was coming down. I had to regain my composure, 'cause I said to myself, 'I see the sky,'" she told WSVN.

The American Red Cross is helping Walker relocate, the station reported.

At 4:36 p.m., the weather service noted a severe thunderstorm over Plantation, moving northeast at 25 mph. Wind gusts of 60 mph with quarter-sized hail was reported. Locations impacted include Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Davie and Plantation.

Expect downpours, with lightning, gusty winds, and possible hail through the rush hour commute.

Storms continued over the Atlantic, affecting eastern Miami-Dade in the early evening, with possible waterspouts, the National Weather Service said.

Isolated thunderstorms are in the forecast for Tuesday night.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

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