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Violent Tropical Storm Kills 2, Grounds Ship in South Florida

November 16, 1994|From Associated Press

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A drenching Tropical Storm Gordon spawned a tornado that skipped through a retirement community Tuesday, killing one person.

The storm whipped up winds that grounded a 506-foot freighter just off the beach and took out a traffic signal, causing an accident that killed a pregnant motorist.

Police and rescuers went door to door in Barefoot Bay, looking for tornado victims in the dark, rainy weather. "It's pure hell out there," Sheriff's Officer Dallas Durr said.

One person was killed in the mobile home community of about 7,000 people on Florida's east coast, 40 miles south of Melbourne.

Two others were in critical condition and at least eight people went to hospitals with minor injuries, said Michael Taggart, Brevard County fire marshal.

The tornado bounced along a two-mile path, destroying at least 40 homes and damaging at least 100 others, Taggart said.

Elena Quicano, 36, of Hialeah was killed Monday when she was thrown from her vehicle in a three-car collision and run over by a pickup at a traffic light broken by the storm, police said. She was seven months' pregnant.

Between thundershowers Tuesday, the sight of the grounded Turkish freighter Firat just yards from shore in Ft. Lauderdale awed tourists and beach-goers.

Gordon moved into the Gulf of Mexico off Key West with 50 m.p.h. winds and was expected to slow down for a day or so after dumping more than 8 1/2 inches of rain on South Florida.

At least 100 people were confirmed killed in Haiti, and the independent Radio Signal FM on Tuesday reported the death toll was at least 400. The president of the Red Cross in Haiti, Dr. William Fougere, refused to give a figure.

Two people each died in Jamaica and Cuba as the deadliest tropical storm of the season spun through the Caribbean.

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