"It's like a war zone out here," said Jeanne King, surveying her Forest Hills, Queens, neighborhood. "Trees are down. Some houses have come apart."Photos from all over the region show the same basic trail of destruction. Trees blown over all over the place, rooftops shredded, and some building cornices and other structures damaged. There were even some partial building collapses. LIRR, MTA, and NJ Transit service was all disrupted for part or all of the evening commute and delays persist on LIRR.
King said the front windows of a Key Food on Queens and Yellowstone Blvds. "imploded" and an air-conditioning unit atop a Sports Authority on Woodhaven Blvd. was dismantled.
A parking lot wall at the 112th Precinct stationhouse in Queens collapsed. The steeple of St. George's Episcopal Church in Flushing lay crumpled across Main St. The roof over the circular driveway at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick, Brooklyn, was destroyed.
"I got chased by it," said Caitlin Shann, 31, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who ran for cover. "It was an absolute washing machine."
Five people were injured when two tractor-trailers flipped on the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn.
Aline Levakis, 30, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was killed when a tree crushed a car she was driving on the Grand Central Parkway near Jewel Ave. in Queens, police said. Her husband, Billy Levakis, 60, was treated for minor injuries at New York Hospital Queens and released, a family friend said.
The couple, who friends said was in town for a day trip, had just switched seats in the Lexus sedan before the deadly accident.
Thousands remain without power in parts of the city, including on Staten Island, where the storm hit with surprisingly little warning and then blossomed over New York harbor before crashing into Park Slope, Bushwick, Bedford Stuyvesant, and then into Queens - Middle Village, Forest Hills, and then further out into Nassau County before the storms subsided.
This is a obscenity laced video from Brooklyn from a couple of guys who don't realize that when you think a tornado approaches, you should seek shelter away from windows and the outdoors. However, if you watch the tree, you see it shredded in the winds in just a matter of moments.
This is another video from Brooklyn showing building and tree debris strewn all over the place. It also includes a video capture showing just how quickly the storm hit - with a woman pushing a stroller being caught up in the rains with seemingly nowhere to go:
Tornadoes do occasionally hit New York City, and the most recent event was this past July. The NWS will be examining the damage to determine whether tornadoes touched down anywhere in the damage path.
This video shows the possible formation of a funnel cloud over Bayonne, NJ before heading into NYC:
The National Weather Service has found that a small tornado did touch down near Trenton, but has yet to make an announcement for the damage across New York City or Northern New Jersey. The NWS has a list of damage observed in the area, including wind speed observations. The NWS will release their findings when they've completed the surveys.