NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The clean up continues Monday in sections of Brooklyn and Queens after two tornadoes touched down over the weekend.
The first hit the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens. About 10 minutes later, another tore into the Canarsie section of Brooklyn.
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In the short time it struck, the tornado reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour wreaking havoc on neighborhoods. It sliced down power lines and uprooted sidewalks while snapping trees and house awnings and breaking windows.
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“I never expected anything like this to happen in New York, especially Canarsie,” said resident Theresa Fraser.
But the two twisters that touched down Saturday are the latest of about 60 small tornadoes that have hit the area in the past half-century, the years for which complete data are available.
Saturday’s pair brings to 10 the total number of tornadoes since 2007 in New York City, according to the National Weather Service.
To some, the tornadoes of the past few years might appear to be an uptick in the trend. Not so fast, said meteorologist David Stark of the weather service.
“In the past five years, there’s been a slight increase in the number of tornadoes in the area, but it’s too short a period of time to say it’s a growing trend,” said Stark.
He pointed to the previous five years, 2001-2006, when a total of eight twisters were recorded.
“That’s not to say the touchdowns are going to continue at the same pace,” noted Stark. “It’s up and down, up and down, and it’s not uncommon in the late summer months to see this.”
On Sunday, power had been restored for the more than 1,100 customers in New York who had lost it.
Residents have been assessing the damage and tallying up the potential costs of repairs.
“We are just putting it together now,” Brooklyn resident Casper Mannina said. “I got a little broken fence, all the piping from the roof.”
The violent twister ripped off the roof of one house on Avenue N in Brooklyn and left behind a hefty price tag. Contractors said the estimated cost for a new roof could range between $5,000 and $8,000.
In Queens, the managers of the Breezy Point Surf Club said they suffered about $200,000 worth of damage.
“This is the first year of our 10 years lease, it’s been a great summer, everybody’s been happy here and we will be covering these costs and repairs,” a manager of the club said.
No deaths or injuries were reported as a result of the twisters, coming from a storm system that brought damaging winds from Pennsylvania to upstate New York.
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