Rare tornadoes strike New York City's Queens and Brooklyn boroughs


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The Independent US

Shoreline residents of Queens and Brooklyn in New York City were clearing up the mess today left by two tornadoes that touched down on Saturday pushing over walls, lifting roofs and knocking out power. The weather also disrupted play in the final weekend of the nearby US Open tennis tournament.

Both the twisters, which struck within minutes of each other, were weak affairs barely registering on the Fujita scale. The first passed over the Breezy Point Surf Club not far from John F. Kennedy airport, tossing pool furniture and wrecking cabanas. The second came ashore in Brooklyn close to the Coney Island fair rides.

"It picked up picnic benches. It picked up Dumpsters," reported the Breezy Point club manager, Thomas Sullivan. Bob O'Hara found his television and other contents of the cabana he rents for the summer drench and suddenly exposed to the heavens. "We've got a new sunroof," he joked. "The TV was going to get thrown out anyway."

Both tornadoes first resembled water spouts as they crossed the sea before making landfall.

While tornadoes are a dangerous fact of life across the Midwest, New Yorkers hardly worry about them or see them. Even so a small twister was reported in July on Long Island and in September two years ago a pair of tornadoes similarly chewed up trees and roofs in Brooklyn and Queens.