There have been reports of tornadoes on Saturday that are embedded in Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida.
According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel on Saturday night, a tornado was spotted across Central Broward County.
“We were looking at the storm and we just happened to get lucky,” said Gabriel Benedik, 39. “It was pretty amazing.”
“It never fully got to the ground,” Benedik said. “It got swallowed back up into the cloud.”
The National Weather Service had issued a tornado watch for the area before Irma.
Two tornadoes were reported in Broward. A tornado was reported in Fort Lauderdale, according to a WBZ reporter, Mike LaCrosse.
There is also the deadly—and sneaky—threat of storm surge across coastal areas in Florida. Weather officials say the surge could reach or exceed 15 feet.
“Fifteen feet is devastating and will cover your house,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said on Saturday. “Do not think the storm is over when the wind slows down. The storm surge will rush in and it could kill you.”
The National Weather Service said that hurricanes often spawn tornadoes, and they could appear far away from the eye of the storm itself.
During Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the southeastern United States—but namely New Orleans and Louisiana—in 2005, some 57 tornadoes were spawned across eight states.
The National Hurricane Center, meanwhile, issued an update on Irma at 12 a.m. Sunday, Sept 10.
Irma’s “rainbands” are now “producing gusty winds in the Florida Keys,” the NHC stated.
Here are the latest warnings and watches:
Storm surge warning is now in effect for:
- South Santee River southward to Jupiter Inlet
- North Miami Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to the Ochlockonee River
- Florida Keys
- Tampa Bay
Hurricane warning in effect for:
- Fernandina Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to Indian Pass
- Florida Keys
- Lake Okeechobee
- Florida Bay
Hurricane watch for:
- North of Fernandina Beach to Edisto Beach
Tropical storm warning for :
- West of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line
- North of Fernandina Beach to South Santee River
At 8:15 p.m., a tornado warning for southeastern Broward as well as northeastern Miami-Dade counties expired, the Sun-Senintel reported. “Heavy rainfall may hide this tornado,” the Weather Service said. “Do not wait to see or hear the tornado. TAKE COVER NOW!”
But there is a tornado watch for southeastern Florida until midnight, said the National Weather Service.
The severity of the situation in Florida prompted President Donald Trump to tweet that it’s a storm of “enormous destructive power,” while he called on “everyone in the storm’s path to heed ALL instructions from government officials.”