A waterspout is a terrifying meteorological phenomenon that's basically a tornado made out of water — and over Memorial Day weekend in Fort Lauderdale, FL, one of them picked up a bouncy castle full of children.
The spout blew over from a nearby body of water and lifted the bouncy house in the air, carrying it across a state highway. It hovered above a nearby basketball court, breaking a hoop and some light poles, and then crashed onto the ground. A witness told Local 10 that the house rose as high as the tops of the palm trees.
Although one girl toppled from the structure to the concrete, all the kids involved are healing up well. Two of the three were treated for minor injuries and have already been released from Broward Health Medical Center, Fort Lauderdale police Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw said. The third was held overnight for further observations.
“I was thinking I was about to die," one 5-year old, who broke her arm in the accident, told NBC Miami.
A second, unoccupied bouncy house also flew in the waterspout — which was later categorized as an EF-0 tornado, a storm that can yield winds between 65 and 85 mph. Police said they cut open the houses, once they were stable in the street, to check for children. Neither houses left additional beachgoers or vehicles harmed.
"These bounce houses are permitted,” Officer Greenlaw said. “It's an incident, an act of mother nature, that couldn't be prevented."