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Tornadoes in NYC?

Tornadoes in NYC?

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I did a doubletake this morning as I read My Yahoo!, thinking I had clicked the weather report for Spartanburg, South Carolina (my hometown) instead of New York, NY:

Today: Mostly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. Some of the storms may become severe. Storms could contain tornadoes. High 88F. Winds S at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Tornadoes in NYC? Even after living in Brooklyn for 10 years, I didn’t know there was such a thing. Growing up in South Carolina, they were a regular occurrence. I recall the street I grew up on getting clobbered twice during my childhood in the 1970’s: the first one totally demolished the house of the only African-American man living on our street. The second tornado was even more dramatic, pulling the roof off of a family’s brick garage and tossing it several hundred feet into a neighbor’s watermelon patch. (Oddly enough, this is the same house that my grandparents first lived in when they came down from the North Carolina mountains in the 1940’s and purchased several acres of peach orchard to begin a new life.)

It’s hard to imagine a Tornado grinding it’s way up Broadway, but according to the NYC Office Of Emergency Management’s website, the city has been nailed before:

“Though infrequent, tornado outbreaks in New York City are not unprecedented. In August 1990, an F0 tornado touched down on Staten Island, injuring three people. Five years later, in October 1995, an F1 tornado struck Staten Island again, causing some property damage, but no injuries.”

Read more about tornadoes and what to do if one strikes here.

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