Confirmed Tornado Touchdown in Coconut Creek

Cleanup continues Thursday after a confirmed tornado touchdown in Broward County, Florida, Wednesday that injured at least one person, flipped over cars, damaged the roof of a condo complex and left hundreds without power.

A witness who saw the tornado pass by on the Florida Turnpike posted video to YouTube showing just how heavy the winds were.

A survey team from the National Weather Service in Miami confirmed the tornado touched down in Coconut Creek Wednesday morning.

"When he called me at work and said a tornado hit the house, I was in a panic attack. Hard to believe that could happen here," said Cintra Bhagreg, who had tornado property damage.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were being released throughout the day Wednesday. A flood advisory was also in effect until 7 p.m. in Broward.

Officials said strong winds picked up a southbound vehicle on the Florida Turnpike in Coconut Creek and dropped it in the northbound lanes Wednesday morning. 

Broward Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said one person was injured. He did not know just how many vehicles were overturned. The Turnpike southbound was completely shut down at Sample Road.

As of 10:40 a.m., only one right lane continued to be blocked, according to NBC 6 traffic reporter Kelly Blanco. The off-ramp remained closed as of 12:30 p.m.

South Florida Storm Photos: Jan. 27, 2016

Motorists were advised to use I-95 or US-441 as alternates.

Broward Emergency Management Director Miguel Ascarrunz said the agency was monitoring the situation and trying to assess the damage. He said only a couple of minor injuries were reported.

"The good news, there's no reports of major injuries or deaths from this event," Ascarrunz said.

The severe weather also knocked out power for hundreds of customers. According to Florida Power & Light, 368 outages were reported in Broward County, along with 467 outages reported in Miami-Dade.

Henry Cabrera of the Coconut Creek police said at least six cars were tossed around a parking lot at Broward College North Campus. A couple cars were found stacked on top of each other and a truck was on its side.

Officials also said a nearby condominium complex had roof damage.

College officials emailed students at the north campus, advising them to take precautions because of severe weather. The turnpike is near the campus. 

The college issued the following statement:

"At Broward College, the health, safety and welfare of the College community is of utmost importance. This morning, we learned of a severe weather advisory in the area of our North Campus. The established procedures were followed, and a notice was immediately sent out through the College-wide BC Alert system via phone calls, text messages, social media and the Broward College website. The situation is currently being accessed as emergency personnel complete their investigation. Broward College will continue to monitor the advisories and send additional alerts as needed."

Classes at the North Campus were canceled through 5 p.m. Wednesday, with classes after 5 p.m. expected to resume as scheduled.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties earlier Wednesday.  It has since expired.

The Broward Outreach Center reported damage to some trees and a playground, but officials said the center remained fully operational Wednesday.

Businesses in Pompano Beach also reported damage. Plycon Van Lines at 1751 Blount Road reported that several truck were overturned, while the Whole Foods Market at 2411 N. Federal Highway also reported damages.

Cars were tossed after a tornado seems to have touched down in Broward College North Campus, Florida.

Stay with NBC 6 for updates on this developing story.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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