A tornado that swept through Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night caused debris to scatter in several neighborhoods, including palm leaves, holiday decorations, and branches. The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Miami conducted a survey on Sunday and determined that an EF0 tornado had struck a portion of Fort Lauderdale. An EF0 tornado is classified as weak, with wind speeds ranging from 65 to 85 mph.
According to the NWS report, the tornado had an estimated wind speed of 80 mph, a length of 1.5 miles, and a width of 100 yards. It touched down at 5:47 p.m. and lasted until 5:50 p.m. Most of the damage caused by the tornado was likely in the 60-79 mph range, as stated by the NWS.
The first signs of damage were observed along Southeast 12th Street, where large branches had fallen in front of a home, according to the NWS. The tornado then moved northeast, passing through parts of Rio Vista Isles, crossing the New River, and affecting several streets just south of Sunset Lake. Video evidence confirmed that the tornado dissipated in the vicinity of East Las Olas Boulevard.
WPTV reporter Victor Jorges visited Fort Lauderdale to assess the damage caused by the tornado. The majority of the observed damage was concentrated around Cordova Road near Southeast 10th Street.
Fort Lauderdale reported only minor damage as a result of the tornado. The City of Fort Lauderdale tweeted that there were no reports of injuries and that the damage appeared to be minimal. Fort Lauderdale Fire crews were actively assessing the extent of the damage.
While the tornado caused localized damage, the rest of South Florida experienced cloudy, windy, and occasionally severe conditions. WPTV First Alert Chief Meteorologist Steve Weagle alerted staff about a funnel cloud reported by the NWS that quickly dissipated, resulting in no further reports of damage.
The city will now work on cleanup efforts and ensuring the safety of residents in affected areas. Authorities urge the public to remain cautious of any debris and downed power lines.