PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A devastating tornado that hit the Kings Point senior community near Delray Beach on Tuesday night had estimated peak winds of 125 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Officials on Thursday classified the tornado as an EF-2, which has winds between 113-157 mph. It cut a 6-mile path through southern Palm Beach County with a width of 200 yards
The report said that the strong tornado also affected areas of Boca Raton, including Florida Atlantic University where siding was torn off of a building.
Read the full report here:
EF-0 damage was also documented at the American Heritage School just south of Linton Boulevard where trees were uprooted and fences were damaged.
The tornado intensified after crossing Linton Boulevard and then entered the Kings Point community.
The report said a roof was completely lifted off of a small two-story building complex in Kings Point. An adjacent larger two-story building complex had about 25% of its roof lifted.
Several palm trees were snapped at the middle, and one of the palm trees crashed into a second-story unit, tearing a large hole into the wall.
A few cars were flipped and moved, and many large tree branches were snapped at the top of the tree canopies.
Residents of Kings Point said the storm sounded like a "freight train" when it blew through the area.
More than two dozen residents were displaced by the tornado, and two people had to be taken to a hospital. A total of about 30 people were evacuated by the storm.
One person was rescued from her bathroom after her roof collapsed.
"All of a sudden my phone dinged, I looked at it, it says, 'Palm Beach County tornado alert,'" Kings Point resident Richard Martin said. "About 10 seconds later, the roof was in on me. I was on the floor under a pile of debris."
Martin is now staying with friends and wonders what's next.
"I've just been thinking about a million things a minute," Martin said.
A senior citizen facility in West Palm Beach on Wednesday took in nearly a dozen displaced residents impacted by the tornado.
Just north of the Kings Point community, large tree branches were broken off trees at a Home Depot parking lot at Jog Road and Atlantic Avenue.
According to the report, the tornado continued north of Atlantic Avenue and entered the Villages of Oriole where EF-1 damage was observed to a few homes, mainly in the form of roof uplift and loss of roof covering/shingles. The tornado then lifted in the area of Jog Road and N. Oriole Boulevard.