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Tornado hits Queens, New York


The tornado's distinct funnel was captured on Twitter and Youtube. It was soon confirmed as a tornado by the National Weather Service.
The tornado's distinct funnel was captured on Twitter and Youtube. It was soon confirmed as a tornado by the National Weather Service.

Staff writers

September 8, 2012 — An EF-0 tornado touchdown was confirmed along the beachfront of the New York City borough of Queens Saturday morning.

The skies over part of the northeastern U.S. were dark thanks to a storm system that passed through Friday and Sunday.
The skies over part of the northeastern U.S. were dark thanks to a storm system that passed through Friday and Sunday.

Tornadoes in the United States are common enough on the Great Plains. In New York City, not so much. 

But people along a beachfront neighbourhood in the borough of Queens had one right on their doorstep as it roared into the area on Saturday.

The twister flung debris into the air and knocked out power, while the storm system that spawned it brought heavy rain that caused localized flooding.

Thomas Sullivan, general manager of the Breezy Point Surf Club, said the tornado tore up cabanas and deck chairs.

"A lot of wind, a lot of wind," he said. "It picked up picnic benches, it picked up dumpsters."

The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed it was a tornado, after eyewitnesses flooded Twitter and Youtube with video and pictures. It was rated at EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The NWS also confirmed a second, stronger tornado touched down near Canarsie in Kings County, rated EF-1. This twister was reported to have damaged several homes and several large trees in Canarsie Park.

NWS meteorologist Dan Hofmann said some witnesses reported winds in the area had been strong enough to lift cars off the pavement.

No deaths or injuries have been reported from the tornado, but it was part of a line of storms that swept into parts of the U.S. on Saturday.

On Friday, four people in Oklahoma and Missouri were killed by that storm system. 

An Oklahoma couple and their grandchild died when strong winds flung their mobile home into a creek. In Missouri, a truck driver was killed when winds flipped his vehicle.

With files from the Associated Press.

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