A severe weather warning has been issued for much of the Northeastern United States, lasting throughout Saturday afternoon and into Saturday evening, as tornado sightings were reported off New York City's Coney Island and around the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs this morning. The storm scattered beachgoers and causing structural damage mostly due to downed power lines and tree limbs.
The National Weather Service issued the updated advisory just after noon on Saturday, warning of significant severe thunderstorms, including the development of widespread damaging winds and a few tornadoes.
According to Travelers Today, hundreds of New Yorkers earlier received emergency alert text messages, sent from @NotifyNYC, advising residents in Brooklyn and Queens to take shelter on lower floors and stay away from windows.
Tornado Warning issued/extended for Brooklyn and Queens until 11:30 AM. Take shelter on lower floors. Stay away from windows.
— NYC OEM - Notify NYC (@NotifyNYC) September 8, 2012
CBS News is reporting that New York City firefighters responded to reports of a possible tornado along the Point Breeze section of Rockaway peninsula in Queens. An FDNY spokesman said there were power lines down and possibly other damage in the beachfront neighborhood.
The general manager of the Breezy Point Surf Club was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that the storm ripped up cabanas and even picked up industrial-sized metal trash bins.
“I saw the whirling winds carrying things past my window. There was furniture and a surfboard flying through the air,” said Alice Marie, a Breezy Point resident who witnessed the storm from her living room and spoke with The New York Daily News.
Amateur video shot from around New York City tracked funnel clouds, showing at least one touchdown.
The YouTube clip, posted by rcurrlin, shows a formation heading towards landfall in the Breezy Point area of Queens.
This video, posted by YouTube user Joe FitzGerald, shows what appears to be a monster tornado in the Breezy Point/Brooklyn area. (Warning: Bad language)
And in clip, a twister can be seen spiraling along the water near Gerritsen Beach.
The tornado watch will be in effect for New York City and parts of New Jersey, Connecticut, New York State and Massachusetts until 9:00 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service states.
CBS News recommends that anyone living in the path of the storm keep track of its progress and updated weather advisories by listening to the radio, TV and NOAA weather radio stations.