High winds, tornadoes and flooding bring headaches to Broward County
Hurricane Ian has wreaked havoc on South Florida airports; some are still operating, however.

One Hurricane Ian-spawned tornado damaged 30 planes at North Perry Airport.

Two tornadoes hit Broward County overnight — one that shut down North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines — county officials said Wednesday morning warning residents to stay inside as the effects of Hurricane Ian move through the area.

Ten thousand Florida Power & Light customers in Broward County are out of power, trees are down, and debris is in the roadway in some places, Broward County Mayor Michael Udine said at a briefing Wednesday morning.

“We encourage residents to stay inside today and stay off the roads,” Udine said. “But if you must drive, please proceed with caution.”

 The storm’s impact will be felt primarily in Southwest Florida, but Udine asked residents to remain vigilant.

“Broward County remains under a tropical storm warning, a flood watch and a tornado watch,” Udine said. “It is very important to know that throughout the day, we will continue to experience impacts from Hurricane Ian … strong wind gusts are expected and rain will continue throughout today and tomorrow.”

No injuries or loss of life so far, Udine said. But the most apparent casualty of Ian so far is at North Perry Airport, which is a reliever airport for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. There, 30 planes were damaged along with a few buildings due to a tornado that touched down there, Udine said.

Another tornado hit the Hollywood-Pembroke Pines area, but Udine did not go into detail about the damage there.

Most county services have been discontinued for now, but Broward County Transit is still operating, as well as the system’s ancillary services. Port Everglades is operating, but at a reduced level as the port has experienced 60 mph gusts, Udine said.

The county’s main airport is open and fully operational, but anyone catching a plane at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International should call ahead to see if there’s been a change in schedule. The storm is causing some cancellations, he said.

Udine also explained to Broward County motorists what a flashing traffic light means. The storm has many of them on the blink, but county road crews are on it.

“Our transit team is out on these roads throughout the day and they’re getting to those as quickly as they can get to them,” Udine said. “But if you do approach a flashing traffic signal, think of it as a four-way stop sign.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


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