We knew there were going to be some thunderstorms today, but things just got amped up oh so slightly: the National Weather Service warns that a severe thunderstorm passing over parts of Brooklyn right now could turn into a tornado!
They say the storm is currently near Sheepshead Bay or Flatbush, and it's moving northeast at 25 MPH. Other locations that the storm might hit include: Canarsie, Crown Heights, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Forest Hills, Jamaica, Little Neck, Jackson Heights, Flushing and Bayside. In addition, a flash flood warning has been issued for Queens and Brooklyn until 12:45 p.m.
Update: According to The National Weather Service, the tornado has touched down on the Flatbush Avenue area of the Belt Parkway (and is moving eastward). Queens and Brooklyn have been put on tornado alert until 11:30 a.m. They recommend that residents immediately go indoors and/or to the lowest floor of your building for shelter, and to stay away from windows.
According to reports, there is already "a lot of damage in the area," including cars ontop of other cars.
Update: Check out a first look at the tornado below, along with some tweets:
— Annabel Croft (@Annabel_Croft) September 8, 2012
— Jose Rivera (@joeriv) September 8, 2012
Great So I Come To Newyork When Theres a Tornado Fuck Me Thats Rightt ;These Clouds Look Crazy
— Skinny(E.S.K) (@SkinnyESK) September 8, 2012
Update: We spoke to some local businesses in the area where the tornado passed through to find out what's happening on the ground: "We haven't seen damage, the sand picked up and kind of got tubular, and then it went out to water right in front of the restaurant, and then traveled back inland over Brooklyn," said Lizann Maher of Kennedy's Restaurant. An employee from Breezy Point Lumber Comore added, "It started funneling. From where we are it didn't look like it touched down, just started forming."
Update: According to the FDNY, no one has been injured so far due to the tornado, but there is damage to trees, power lines, and cars around Brooklyn and Queens. But a tornado watch remains in effect for northern New Jersey and Southeast New York until 9 p.m.
— Patric Piccione (@paddyp23) September 8, 2012
And below, check out the first footage of the tornado:
Update: Here's another video showing the heavy rain in Queens:
And another two capturing the actual storm: