Monday, September 10, 2012

New York - Twin tornadoes touch down in Queens and Brooklyn

The tornado as seen on Flatbush Ave.

Twin tornadoes tore through the city Saturday, peeling off a roof in Brooklyn like a tomato can and sending beach chairs and barbecue grills soaring in Queens.

The first funnel cloud swept through Breezy Point, Queens, about 10:58 a.m. after blasting into the Rockaway Peninsula with pounding winds of 70 mph.

TORNADO-5

JOEY MURE/AP

Funnel cloud rises over the water in Breezy Point, Queens, on Saturday.

Seven minutes later, a second, more powerful twister slammed into Canarsie, Brooklyn — shattering windows and ripping off Charlene Khan’s roof.

TORNADO-1

ANTHONY LANZILOTE FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The storm blew the roof off this building in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and scattered broken bits of of homes across the neighborhood.

“It’s the craziest thing — my whole roof is just gone,” said Khan, 43, who owns a two-story rowhouse on Avenue N. “It’s sitting in my neighbor’s driveway. . . . I just can’t believe this. It floods out here a lot, but a tornado, that’s a first for me.”

No serious injuries were reported after the back-to-back twisters.

TORNADO MAP

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The Queens funnel cloud, stretching 150 feet wide, touched down for 15 terrifying seconds.

“It sounded like a freight train,” said Matt Schafer, 18, a maintenance worker at the Breezy Point Surf Club. “We didn’t know what it was.”

It didn’t take long to figure it out. People started sprinting for cover as the tornado took shape and bore down on the shorefront enclave.

TORNADO-4

DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

 In Breezy Point, Queens, a witness said the tornado hurled this silver car up onto the other car and then shoved it off again.

Retiree Alice Marie, sitting in her Breezy Point living room, watched as a surfboard sailed past her window. Lifeguard Joe Kimmeth saw pool furniture bouncing like beach balls.

“All of a sudden, the wind got really, really strong,” said Joe, 16, who works at the surf club. “We saw stuff starting to blow away — like chairs and tables.”

Hail began falling and furniture started flying as the tornado came into view. “The shack started shaking and stuff, and the lights started flickering,” the teen said. “I was in shock. . . . Fifteen seconds later, it was over.”

NYCTornado

DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Tornado hits Utica Walk in Breezy Point.

NYCTornado3

KATHY WILLENS/AP

A pile of debris, including a gas barbecue and propane tank, lie in the sand in front of cabanas at the Breezy Point Surf Club.

The wind whipped the teen’s bicycle into the deep end of the pool, where it joined many of the surrounding beach chairs and tables. A metal barbecue, complete with propane tank, was hurtled into the middle of a nearby baseball field. 

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