Thunderstorms: Power outages, downed power lines as thunderstorms hit South Florida Friday evening

Gas leak closes Australian and Palm Beach Lakes

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Thunderstorms plowed through South Florida Friday evening, downing power lines, flooding streets and leaving several thousand Florida Power & Light customers in the dark.

The intersection of Australian Avenue and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard was closed around 9 p.m. after strong winds downed a power line which hit a gas main causing a leak, said Allan Ortman, spokesman for West Palm Beach Fire.

Ortman said the intersection will be closed through Saturday afternoon while crews repair the gas main and the street.

Around 8 p.m. FPL reported that about 3,500 customers were without power in Palm Beach County, said Spokeswoman Florencia Contesse,  By 10 p.m. the number of customers without power had dropped to 3,200, she said.

Contesse said the outages were caused by the electrical storm that had ripped through the area and that most of the customers without power resided in West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach and Jupiter.

The National Weather Service reported street flooding in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach.

The Red Cross reported that it was coordinating emergency aid for residents of a home on West 36th Street in Riviera Beach that flooded during the storm.

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