NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. National Weather Service reported a tornado may have touched down in the New York City borough of Queens on Saturday morning, pulling down power lines, throwing around cars and damaging property.
The weather service said in a preliminary report that a tornado may have hit Breezy Point, a neighbourhood on the Rockaway Peninsula of Queens. The New York Police Department said there were no immediate reports of injuries.
“It looked like a tornado. It was like a twister and it took everything into the air,” said Caitlin Walsh, 24, who works at the Breezy Point Surf Club and watched the storm with her co-workers from their office.
“The windows on the whole building broke, the lights went out, and the rain was pouring in. Everything was shaking. It was really crazy,” Walsh added.
Tornadoes are extremely rare in the largest and most densely populated U.S. city.
The severe weather forced the U.S. Open tennis women’s singles final at Flushing Meadows to be delayed from Saturday evening until Sunday, the U.S. Tennis Association said.
A National Weather Service advisory warned of more storms and possible tornadoes through the evening in other parts of the north-eastern United States including sections of New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
A spokesman for the New York Fire Department said there were reports of damage throughout the city but that the department had not yet confirmed the reports.
He said that in the borough of Brooklyn trees had been uprooted, power lines were down and a section of a roof of a house had been taken off.
“We have confirmed large trees were uprooted and electrical wires taken down. We also have confirmation a house roof being compromised. The roof has been taken off,” he said.
Editing by Greg McCune, Will Dunham and Mohammad Zargham