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Severe weather hits So. Fla., outdoor activity at schools canceled

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- Whipping winds and nasty weather rolled in across South Florida, Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Broward County and Miami-Dade County, shortly after 2 p.m. The warning was in effect until 3:30 p.m., Thursday.

Following the warnings, all outdoor activity at Broward and Miami-Dade County Public Schools were canceled due to the severe weather.

A tornado watch and warning were also issued for both counties but both were canceled by 4 p.m.

In Delray Beach, a tree collapsed near some townhouses, lifting and cracking the sidewalk. Dianna Bedilion said she heard the tree come down. "I was working upstairs. Up there, and it just sounded like a whoosh."

Ashley Hodges said it was a powerful gust of wind that luckily did not hit any homes. "It was a blessing that it went right through this sidewalk area, where it had enough space to clear the houses, so we were lucky."

In Pompano Beach, wind gusts were so strong that railroad arms were snapped off, which affected traffic in the area for sometime. The scene was cleared away soon after.

Though traffic was bad in that area, by the railroad tracks, for some time, many other drivers across South Florida had to endure the effects of the weather. Traffic was very slow-moving on many highways during the afternoon commute, due to the heavy rain.

Several 7News viewers sent pictures and video of the weather to senditto7@wsvn.com.

In Oakland Park, a strong gust sent debris flying. Meanwhile, when the winds kicked up near an office complex along West Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, trees started to topple down.

Another viewer sent a picture to 7 that showed a homeowner's gazebo in North Lauderdale crashed down thanks to the nasty weather.

The weather has affected power in many areas. As of 6 p.m., FPL has reported the following outages:

Miami-Dade: 5900

Broward: 3800

Palm Beach: 2000

Anywhere you turn, it's wet and wild out there, even south of Broward, in North Miami, where the clouds are looking ominous. Further south, a so-called shelf cloud was captured by a viewer down in the Keys.

If you need to go out, make sure to grab your umbrella, rain jacket, or just stay inside for the time being. Remember, if you see news happening and can do so safely, take a picture or shoot video and send it to: senditto7@wsvn.com.


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