NNA – Tropical Storm Philippe was passing over the Florida Straits about 75 miles southwest of Key West as of 11 p.m. Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm formed just before 5 p.m. Saturday, and soon shifted west, putting more of South Florida in the cone; a tropical storm watch was issued for coastal South Florida from Miami-Dade to the Upper Keys on Saturday.
Heavy rains across parts of South Florida began Saturday afternoon from the fringes of the fast-moving storm as it raced across Cuba at about 29 mph. By 11 p.m., it had slowed to 24 mph.
The rains were expected to be heavy overnight Saturday and into Sunday.
A flood watch has been issued for Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties through 8 a.m. Sunday, with two to four inches of rain possible, and six inches in isolated areas. An isolated tornado threat continues through Sunday morning.
The winds have already damaged some structures, including several mobile homes in Boynton Beach, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Crews responded just after 6 p.m. to reports of damaged homes near the 4000 block of 88th Court South inside Parry Trailer Village.
Crews reported moderate damage to the homes and debris throughout the neighborhood. Firefighters went through the neighborhood looking for any possible victims and assessing the damage, Captain Albert Borroto said.
The worst of the storm was forecast to pass closest to South Florida from until about 2 a.m., with Miami-Dade expected to experience the highest winds, and Broward and Palm Beach facing the possibility of a few inches of rain.
The storm had top sustained winds of 40 mph after reaching tropical storm strength by 5 p.m., which means winds of 39-73 mph, the hurricane center said. — Sun-Sentinel