May 12, 1997: Tornado rips its way through Miami

A towering tornado ripped its way through the middle of Miami, Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach right after lunch on May 12, 1997, smashing cars and windows, tossing trees skyward and scaring the dickens out of thousands of people who were transfixed by the uncanny sight. After forming in the Miami neighborhood of Shenandoah at around 1:55 p.m., the tornado pummeled East Little Havana, crossed the Miami River and Interstate 95, where stunned motorists stopped cold to let it pass. It then swirled through downtown, churned sea water into foam in Biscayne Bay, exploded transformers and uprooted trees on Biscayne Island, continued across the water to Arthur Godfrey Road in Miami Beach, where it blew out storefront windows and flipped over a car near Indian Creek. Then it dissipated into thin air. No one was seriously injured.

 

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