Story at a glance
- A storm with heavy rainfall and gusty winds tracked eastward through central Florida and Louisiana.
- Three fatalities were reported between Louisiana and Florida.
- Power has largely been restored to residents in both states.
A series of storms battered parts of Florida, reportedly killing at least three people and leaving behind widespread power outages.
The National Weather Service hubs based in Melbourne, Fla., issued severe weather threats for central parts of the state spanning from south of Gainesville and Ocala to Tampa and St. Petersburg, ending along Cape Coral and West Palm Beach.
The advisory warned of light to heavy rainfall and gusty winds with speeds up to 75 miles per hour. Hail was also a possibility as the storms tracked eastward, along with tornado warnings.
3:25pm | While the severe threat for east central FL (to Martin Co) has largely ended, gusty winds, lightning & heavy rain continue across the area.— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) April 11, 2021
Most significant reports today included:
2” hail in Oviedo
77 mph wind gust in Jensen Beach pic.twitter.com/CaLIaPabD4
Parts of Louisiana were also hammered by the storms. The NWS headquarters in Shreveport reported a confirmed tornado in the late hours of April 9.
The severe weather warnings have largely been lifted, but left behind several casualties.
USA Today reports that three people, including a 17-year-old Florida girl, died over the weekend amid the hazardous weather. Other outlets report that a man living in St. Landry Parish died over the weekend, and several other residents were injured and transported to nearby hospitals.
Dozens of private homes sustained significant damage in both Florida and Louisiana. Strong winds and hazardous conditions that yielded accidents like fires are the primary culprits.
Only one day removed from a devastating EF3 tornado, St. Landry Parish residents are already picking up the pieces of their lives, and on the road to recoveryhttps://t.co/JgMRHYNHxf— KLFY NEWS 10 (@KLFY) April 12, 2021
“It’s really unbelievable. You really have to see it to understand what happened out here. Several homes have been moved off their foundations and others have had their roofs pulled off. One house was moved and placed completely onto the road,” said St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard to reporters.
Downed power lines were one of the most dangerous hazards brought on by the storm, prompting government officials to ask residents to stay away from them. The 17-year-old girl was reportedly killed in Florida as a result of an encounter with a downed power line.
“Please be aware of any hazards that severe weather may have left behind,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (R) wrote on Twitter. “Continue to monitor local officials and news and do not approach any downed power lines."