Tornado Scares Residents of Queens and Brooklyn [Updated]

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A tornado hit the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens around lunchtime today. And, because one borough can't have all the fun, it made its way out to water and down toward Brooklyn. As they are wont to do, the twister threw some debris around, knocked out power and, understandably, gave local residents a bit of a scare. "It was crazy," resident Joseph Mure told the Post. "There were a lot of sirens going off. You could see it twisting." Joe Kimmeth, a lifeguard at the Breezy Point Surf Club, told the Times he saw the funnel-shaped storm pass just ten feet in front of him, briefly touching down on the club's swimming pool: "It was spiraling in the pool, and the shack began to shake. It was pretty scary, actually. It came right over us." Luckily, it seems that no one was injured. Meanwhile, a tornado watch has been declared for the New York area, and will last until 9 p.m. tonight.

With the warning in effect, the National Weather Service says residents could see 1-inch hail, lots of lightening, and wind gusts of up to 70 miles-per-hour. The storm already caused flooding late this morning in Brooklyn, and there's still a chance of flash floods in Brooklyn and southeast Queens as of this afternoon. According to Accuweather, flights taking off from any New York City airport have been experiencing delays, and Routes I-95, I-80, and I-81 were "all in the crosshairs of possible downed trees, power lines, and blinding rain." New York State commissioner for Homeland Security and Emergency Services Joseph Hauer released a statement "[urging] all New Yorkers to pay attention to local radio and television reports for the latest information on the progress of these storms." Ray Kelly echoed his comments, saying that while there wasn't much damage so far, residents should still "be aware tonight." 

This post has been updated throughout.