NYC Cleans Up After Tornadoes

What's New — By sarahpruitt on September 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Not one, but two tornadoes hit New York City right around the afternoon rush hour on Thursday, causing significant amounts of damage in Brooklyn and Queens with more than 1oo mile-per-hour winds. There was one human fatality, a Pennsylvania woman who was killed when a tree fell on her car on the Grand Central Parkway. In addition, as many as 3,000 trees–some of them more than 100 years old–were damaged beyond repair, including being ripped out of the ground or split completely in two.

A casualty of the Brooklyn tornado (photo by Sarah Pruitt)

Brooklyn neighbors clean up after tornado (Photo by i'mjustsayin via flickr)

Almost immediately after the storms hit, images documenting the intense storm and its effects hit the Web, including videos like this one, of the storm moving in over Brooklyn. Residents banded together to clear the streets of some of the fallen trees and other debris, and also took striking photos of the damage, collected by The New York Times and Gothamist (among other places).

Fallen trees post-tornado in Forest Hills (Photo by Late Pixel via flickr)

Questions about the exact nature of the storms were settled late Friday night, when the National Weather Service confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in Park Slope, Brooklyn and in Flushing and Bayside, Queens. In addition, a sudden flurry of intense winds called a “macroburst” touched down near Middle Village and Forest Hills (Queens); it actually was the most damaging, with winds of up to 125 mph.

In all, eight tornadoes have hit New York City since 1950. In 2007, a tornado with winds as high as 135 mph touched down in Brooklyn and Staten Island, severely damaging homes.

As of Monday morning, electricity had been restored to all of the 45,000 residents who lost power during the tornadoes, and ConEd is continuing to work to repair damage caused when trees slammed into power lines and other equipment.

Tags: brooklyn, news, queens, tornado, weather