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DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Two people were hospitalized, and dozens were evacuated after a strong tornado damaged an apartment complex in Delray Beach, Florida Tuesday.
As Hurricane Ian continued northward towards Florida Tuesday evening, multiple tornado warnings were issued throughout the southern part of the Sunshine State. The National Weather Service warned of a damaging tornado in Broward County at about 7:30 p.m.
Palm Beach County firefighters said a woman called 911 around 9:15 p.m after a roof collapse left her stuck in the bathroom of a building in the Kings Point neighborhood located in western Delray Beach. Arriving crews on the scene said they encountered a lot of wind and damage.
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Cars were found toppled, moved and rolled upside down. Roofs were blown off of several top-floor apartments, and windows of buildings and cars were blown out. Trees were also snapped and blown into buildings, as firefighters cut through many downed trees to open roads.
Firefighters searched the buildings for trapped residents across four separate areas with damage. High-water vehicles were eventually used to move large numbers of people quickly with help from Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputies.
The American Red Cross is helping with temporary housing.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center said there were 11 tornado reports in Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
The National Weather Service in Miami completed a tornado survey summary of the twister and confirmed the damage was caused by an EF-2-rated tornado with peak winds of 125 mph. An EF-2 tornado is considered strong on the Enhanced Fujita Scale with winds ranging between 111 and 135 mph.
According to the NWS report, the tornado started in Boca Raton near the Florida Atlantic University Campus just before 9 p.m.
The 200-yard-wide tornado intensified after crossing Linton Boulevard and entering the Kings Point community.
The NWS survey team reported considerable damage to the condominium building, trees and vehicles. The roof was completely lifted off a two-story building.
Two people were injured when their roof collapsed, according to the NWS Miami.
Ultimately, the tornado traveled 6 miles ending in West Delray Beach.
Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon as an intense Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds. Radar imagery showed the eye moved ashore at Cayo Costa at 3:05 p.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center.