PALM BEACH.- A lengthy repair and cleanup job began in Palm Beach Gardens, after the powerful and destructive tornado passed through the area on Saturday afternoon.

Alberto Barrera, owner of an affected business, says the loss is total. “It was total and complete damage.”

Barrera was in his business with his children when the tornado hit. “We were going to the front when all of a sudden it felt like an atomic bomb had dropped there. The panel fell, we had to escape through the back door, but the building went been completely destroyed.”

A fence fell on the business and Barrera estimates losses could be more than $12 million.

“A lot of losses that will happen (…) but we have to fight,” he said.

And fighting is precisely what many are doing today, while recovering from the shock. The National Weather Service confirmed it to be a Category EF-2 tornado with winds up to 130 miles per hour and damage in a section of Palm Beach Gardens is notable.

Isabel Betancourt is an affected neighbor, she says luckily she was not at home. “It’s very horrible. On the contrary, I had never had to see any of these things. We sleep in this room (he points to the area of ​​his room) and he always used to lie down for a while afternoon. All the glass would have fallen on the bed,” says Mrs. Isabel.

Other testimonies also reflect the gravity of the events. “We were in the bathroom when suddenly a very ugly noise, a piece of stone the size of my son’s shoe flew and hit the window and broke everything, he entered the room. The Pierre destroyed his computer. Glass fell on the bed,” adds Marilyn Tavarez.

The strength of this tornado left extensive damage in all corners of this area: destroyed cars, fallen trees and debris in the street. In addition, the roofs of some houses have collapsed.

In videos and photos shared by residents, we see how the cars fell on each other, due to the force of the wind. Downed trees and poles are also visible. The National Weather Service confirmed that the cause of the damage was an EF-2 category tornado.

Following the widespread damage, the City of Palm Beach Gardens partially activated its emergency operations center with police, firefighters and public works personnel to deal with the cleanup of affected areas.


Most of the damage sustained occurred in the PGA Boulevard area east of the Intracoastal Waterway to US-1.

The intersection of PGA Boulevard and US-1 remains closed while work continues to clear the freeway and restore traffic and electrical operations. All this after several roads were blocked by debris and fallen trees.

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The city engineer and building officials continue to perform structural damage assessments. So far, they have reported roof damage, minor structural damage to buildings, numerous downed trees and damaged vehicles.


The fire department confirmed no injuries were reported as a result of the storm, while the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department continues to monitor four intersections with no power or flashing lights.

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