Victims of central Florida storms remembered before Super Bowl

Updated: February 4, 2007, 7:18 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- A moment of silence was held shortly before Sunday's Super Bowl to honor the 20 central Florida residents who died last week after a series of tornadoes hit the area.

The storms, which struck between 3 and 4 a.m. Friday, damaged hundreds of buildings and caused at least $68 million in damage, according to some estimates. Forecasters said the tornadoes, which arrived when few people were awake to hear warnings on radio and TV, had winds of up to 165 mph.

The situation in central Florida prompted Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to cancel plans he had to attend the Super Bowl. Crist, who was in central Florida on Saturday to assess storm damage, returned to Tallahassee and watched the game with firefighters.

Immediately after the moment of silence, Billy Joel and Marlee Matlin performed the national anthem, punctuated by a flyover from a group of Air Force fighter jets.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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