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Strong storms bring tornadoes to all of Florida

Last Updated Feb 16, 2016 7:08 PM EST

MIAMI - South Florida residents were reporting fierce winds and downed trees a day after tornadoes tied to a vast storm system turned several homes to rubble in the northwest corner of Florida's Panhandle and in Mississippi.

CBS Miami reports this pattern of increased tornado activity is associated with strong El Nino events during the winter months in Florida.

While a tornado touchdown has not been officially confirmed by officials, several Miami-area residents reported seeing one.

A strong line of thunderstorms passed through Miami-Date County just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Caracozza said. The same system went through Palm Beach and Broward counties during the morning commute, bringing dark skies, heavy rain and wind.

CBS affiliate WPEC in West Palm reports there was extensive damage in the Pompano Beach area.

National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Caracozza said teams from the agency would survey the area to determine whether a tornado touched down. He said wind and rain would be out of the region by mid-day, leaving colder weather with temperatures expected to dip to around 60 degrees in South Florida on Tuesday night.

Authorities say more than a dozen homes were destroyed in both Florida and Mississippi on Monday. There were no immediate reports of any deaths or serious injuries from the reported tornadoes, though witnesses said one 94-year-old woman had to be pulled from debris in Florida.

One of three apparent twisters swept through Century, a rural town in the northwest Florida Panhandle, destroying or significantly damaging about 10 homes, Escambia County spokeswoman Joy Tsubooka said.

Donald Pugh was at home in Century when the funnel tore through his neighborhood of small wood-frame houses and mobile homes, downing trees. Pugh told The Associated Press that he and other neighbors used a chain saw to free the 94-year-old woman, stuck under a twisted metal door and other debris of her home.

"It took us quite a while," he said. "She was telling us where she was and that she was OK," Pugh added.

The woman was taken to a hospital as a precaution, authorities said.

In Mississippi, windows were blown out of cars and two gymnasiums and a library were damaged Monday at a K-12 school in Wesson where children were in attendance when heavy thunderstorms and a possible tornado crossed at least 19 counties. No students were hurt, authorities said, adding at least 15 buildings and homes were reported damaged or destroyed.