A tornado touched down in College Point, Queens, Thursday night as severe storms swept through the city, the National Weather Service confirmed on Friday.
The tornado started around 10:20 p.m. near the St. Fidelis Church on 14th Avenue, near 124th Street, and strengthened as it moved northeast toward Powell’s Cove Park, according to the NWS. It was approximately 100 yards wide and was on the ground for about 10 minutes.
The tornado carved a path of destruction for about 0.7 miles, downing trees and power lines and causing minor property damage. Inside Powell’s Cove Park, the National Weather Service said at least 50 trees were downed in a pattern that is “highly indicative” of a tornado.
A video posted to Twitter showed the intersection of 18th Avenue and 121st Street littered with tree limbs and a power transformer sparking in the distance as car alarms went off in the background.
Tornado in 18th ave and 171 st college point NY. Was horrible pic.twitter.com/QcPeb5redw— amancio diaz (@DiazAd4solis) August 3, 2018
Tornado Warning including Queens NY, The Bronx NY, Hicksville NY until 10:45 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/mKcgS04sLM— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) August 3, 2018
The tornado, which was rated an EF0 with winds between 70 and 85 miles per hour, moved along the southern edge of the Powell’s Cove shoreline before dissipating over the far eastern edge of the park, before 138th Street, per the NWS.
The Enhanced Fujita scale rates the intensity of tornadoes between 0 and 5, with the latter being the most violent.
The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for northeast Queens, southeast Bronx and parts of northeastern Nassau County at 10:18 p.m. Thursday. The warning enveloped an area populated by over 2.4 million people.
Tornados are rare for New York City. The National Weather Service recorded 14 across the five boroughs between 1950 and 2015.
The last time a tornado touched down in Queens was on Sept. 8, 2012.