Ominous storm clouds gather over a Florida town.

Man and Dog Suffer Only Minor Cuts and Scrapes After Tornado Flips Car in Palm Beach Gardens

The state of Florida is particularly vulnerable to severe weather events. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and severe thunderstorms are common. In fact, Florida has the most thunderstorms in the United States, with a storm occurring on 75-105 days per year. Many of these storms are severe, producing lightning, hail, heavy rain, and even tornadoes. 

One of these severe storms hit Palm Beach Gardens in South Florida on Saturday, April 29th and produced an EF-2 tornado. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that the “rare” tornado sustained winds of 130 mph and tore through 2.6 miles of the city, touching down near Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and hitting Sanctuary Cove just a few minutes later. A tornado of this magnitude is unusual, according to the NWS. Thankfully, there were no fatalities, but widespread damage and flipped cars. 

One of these flipped cars carried Zach Means and his dog, Marlin. As the thunder rumbled louder, the 5-year-old border collie grew increasingly anxious, Means decided to take Marlin for a ride in the car to calm him down. According to Means, he “usually quiets down during car rides.” 

But it didn’t work. Means said, “It was thundering, but not raining very hard, but he was flipping out,” and then the emergency alert flashed across his phone, indicating a tornado warning. Soon the rain became so heavy that he had to pull over. While stopped, he recorded a video in which you can hear the intensity of the storm increasing and Marlin’s whimpering in the background. Then, all of a sudden, the car is lifted by the storm and thrown across the highway. Amazingly, despite several flips, Means and Marlin were both okay, suffering only minor cuts from the shattered windows. 

This tornado was one of two that tore through the coastal Atlantic region last weekend. On Sunday, April 30, the second tornado touched down in Virginia Beach, VA. Most of Florida remained under a tornado watch or warning throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. 

Protecting Your Home and Family During Severe Weather

Thunderstorms occur frequently throughout the year in Florida, but the summer is the most active season for this type of severe weather. Thunderstorms can produce lightning, hail, strong winds, tornadoes, and heavy rain that can lead to flooding. None of these weather hazards can be prevented, but the damage can be mitigated if you take precautions before the storm hits. 

If the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, you should take shelter immediately. The safest place in your home is an interior room with no windows on the lowest floor, such as inside a closet or bathroom. If possible, get under something strong, like a table, and cover your bad with a blanket or sleeping bag to protect yourself from potential flying debris. If you have anything available to protect your head, such as a helmet, use it. 

You should also get in the habit of practicing tornado drills with your family, especially if you have young children. Practice moving quickly to the agreed-upon safe location. 

Pinnacle Claim Services Can Help You Recover After a Tornado Damages Your Home

If your home was damaged by the recent round of severe weather or the tornado in Palm Beach Gardens, call the experienced professionals at Pinnacle Claim Services for a professional assessment. A public adjuster is a licensed professional who works on behalf of policyholders to help them get the best possible insurance settlement after severe weather damages their property. 

Contact Pinnacle Claim Services today for a free inspection from one of our qualified Florida public adjusters at 877-70-CLAIM.