A rare NYC tornado warning was issued early Saturday, and at least one has been spotted in the borough of Queens, ripping through a beach community and causing damage.
The NYC tornado warning is in effect until 9 pm Saturday, and the area is on watch as the possibility of more tornados striking the region until the warning expires.
Tornados are rarer in New York and the mid-Atlantic states than they are in the midwest, but the weather phenomenon is not entirely unknown in the region. According to the New York Times, the NYC tornado touched down at approximately 11 am in the area of the Breezy Point Surf Club in Queens.
Witnesses report the NYC tornado was about 15 feet wide, touching down directly in the club’s pool and tearing through and destroying a concrete wall. Breezy Point resident Donna Sullivan said that the force of nature was stunning but scary:
“It was a natural weather phenomenon; I was shocked … You’re in awe until you realize it’s dangerous.”
16-year-old Breezy Point lifeguard Joe Kimmeth said the NYC tornado touched down just 10 feet in front of him:
“It was spiraling in the pool, and the shack began to shake … It was pretty scary, actually. It came right over us.”
Videos of the NYC tornado have been popping on on YouTube and accounts are beginning to filter in on social media sites such as Twitter and Tumblr, but the weather phenomenon hit a relatively less-populated area than the more densely populated Manhattan or downtown Brooklyn.