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|National Weather Service confirms 2 tornadoes touched down in city
Last Updated: 10:28 PM, September 17, 2010
Posted: 9:41 PM, September 17, 2010
The storm that churned through New York City spawned two destructive tornadoes and a fierce microburst with speeds up to 125 mph that barreled across a large swath of Brooklyn and Queens, authorities said Friday.
The storm on Thursday evening toppled trees, peeled away roofs and k!lled a woman in a car who had just swapped seats with her husband.
The fury of wind and rain that pummeled the area was New York City's ninth and tenth tornado since 1950, the National Weather Service determined Friday night.
Kyle Struckmann, a meteorologist with the agency, said it was amazing that only one person died. "It's practically a miracle considering the population that was affected by this," he said.
CHAD RACHMAN/NEW YORK POST
Dark clouds hang over the Manhattan skyline.
Photos: Storm slams NY
He said one of the tornados struck Brooklyn about 5:33 p.m. Thursday, with winds up to 80 miles per hour; the second one hit Queens, with winds up to 100 miles per hour.
But it was the microburst, which stretched 8 miles long and 5 miles wide, that packed the biggest punch, Struckmann said. It started in the Middle Village area of Queens and ended in Forest Hills. A microburst is an intense gust of wind that pours down from a storm.
City officials said the twister hopped across New York Harbor from Staten Island and barreled uninterrupted from Park Slope in Brooklyn all the way the Bayside neighborhood in Queens.
The storm was part of a line that rippled across much of the Northeast before completing its run in New York City during the Thursday evening rush hour in a matter of minutes. It caught nearly everyone off guard, including commuters heading home and parents picking up children from after-school activities.
It snapped trees and scattered them like bowling pins, downing power lines and crushing vehicles, including a car in Queens where Iline Levakis and her husband, Billy Levakis were parked. The couple, from Pennsylvania, had just switched seats in the car, said a former business partner, Peter Markos.
She was k!lled; he survived.
"There are lots of stories of people who came very close to being hit by a big tree and k!lled, but fortunately there was only one," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday. "And that one was really tragic."
Investigators mapped out the width and intensity of the storm before determining that the tornadoes touched down, Struckmann said. The probe included surveying the aftermath by helicopter.
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Middle Village is where I used to live in Queens and where most of my family is still at. It's part of Flushing. Forest Hills is next door and encompassed parts of the famous Queens Boulevard or Boulevard of death.
I hate going back and forth with people so except my apologies if I've offended you. At this moment members of my family are still without power and my Aunt & Uncle have holes torn through their house from trees which fell. It is amazing that only one person died and I hope everyone can pick back up where they left off.
Last edited by monkeysnthings; 09-17-2010 at 10:18 PM..