NEW YORK (AP) - A fast-moving storm packing winds of up to 100
mph ripped through the city Thursday, knocking down trees and power
lines, tearing off roofs in one Brooklyn neighborhood and leaving
one person dead.
The person was killed when a tree fell on a car in Queens, fire
officials said. Numerous minor injuries were reported elsewhere.
The storm hit just after 5 p.m., when the National Weather
Service issued a tornado warning for Staten Island. Shortly
afterward, warnings were issued for Brooklyn and Queens.
"A huge tree limb, like 25 feet long, flew right up the street,
up the hill and stopped in the middle of the air 50 feet up in this
intersection and started spinning," said Steve Carlisle, 54. "It
was like a poltergeist."
"Then all the garbage cans went up in the air and this spinning
tree hits one of them like it was a bat on a ball. The can was
launched way, way over there," he said, pointing at a building
about 120 feet away where a metal garbage can lay flattened.
Townsend Davis, 47, stood outside of his home on Sterling Place
in Brooklyn. A 40-foot tree that was uprooted from the sidewalk and
crushed two cars still had a sign in the soil around its roots that
read "Respect the trees."
"Someone up there wasn't listening," Davis said. "I'm just
glad it fell that way, as bad as I feel for the owners of that car,
because if it fell this way, my house wouldn't be here."
Davis' children and wife were in the home when the storm hit.
"All of a sudden, we saw this dark cloud, and it was moving. I
said `Let's go in!"' said Stephen Wylie, who was working in a
backyard on Quincy Street, in Brooklyn.
Within seconds, the front door started lashing back and forth.
Trees branches were falling and trees came flying from other yards,
"They smashed the whole backyard, a gazebo there. Then half the
roof was torn off - eight layers of it" - leaving only a layer of
wood, he said.
Angela Bartolotta, 25, was in class at Long Island University,
Brooklyn Campus, when the wind began to howl and the lights
"Then the windows blew in," Bartolotta said. "Everybody got
down. We thought the tree outside was going to come in."
Brooklyn resident Steven Harris says seven or eight rooftops
blew off on his street. He says trees fell and knocked down power
In the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, witnesses say the
sky went pitch black at about 5:30 p.m. Trees started waving around
like blades of grass. Large branches snapped and hit cars, smashing
The Long Island Rail Road said service was temporarily suspended
between Penn Station and Jamaica because of fallen trees. Amtrak
and New Jersey Transit were running with delays.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)