Massive cleanups have been happening in parts of Brooklyn and Queens today after severe thunderstorms morphed into tornadoes yesterday morning. A tornado with winds around 75 MPH hit Breezy Point in Queens around 10:58 a.m., and then another tornado with winds up to 110 MPH hit Canarsie in Brooklyn just before 11:30 a.m. No one was injured, but there was lots of damage to local businesses, cars, trees, power lines and more. “It’s the craziest thing—my whole roof is just gone,” Charlene Khan, who owns a two-story rowhouse on Avenue N, told the News. “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.”
The Breezy Point tornado was considered weak by meteorologists; it was 50 feet across and touched ground for only 600 feet, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Ross Dickman. Nevertheless, it caused a lot of damage at The Breezy Poit Surf Club: "We were affected by it, the roofs were taken off the cabanas, our pool has serious damage. It took down wires and things like that around the club," Caitlin Walsh, catering and events manager, told us.
"We were in the office and we were watching the outside because it started raining hard and lights started flickering on and off, went through the pool and went through our private hall, and broke the windows and took the roofs off," she added. “I was in the office and I stood in the doorway frozen,” Megan Amberly, a lifeguard at the Breezy Point Swim Club, told the Post. “I watched the roofs fly off the cabanas into the pool. All the other lifeguards ran into the shack. It was like the movie ‘Twister’!”
The Canarsie tornado was much stronger, travelling about half a mile. "It kind of felt like it was sucking you up,and it lasted for 45 seconds," local Charlene Kahn told ABC. “It was a soldier-like tornado. It was decisive,” Norman Goodchild told the Post. “It came and did it’s work and left. It was sudden, swift and quick.”
Joan Washington, who was in her car going down Rockaway Point Boulevard when the twister hit, described it as like a howling freight train to CBS: “As I pulled up, I saw this vehicle—the two rear tires went up in the air. They crashed down into the car next to it, and one of those chimney pipes blew over right through the air like ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued later Saturday for the five boroughs, promising heavy rains, wind, as well as a "possible tornado"—ultimately we didn't get a third tornado, although we did have some epic cloud photographs.