WEST HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A microburst hit parts of Rockland County on Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed.
The fast-moving storm system took down trees and damaged some homes in West Haverstraw and Stony Point, CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported.
A microburst is a thunderstorm that releases a large amount of energy all at once and comes down to the surface as straight-line damaging winds. Thursday’s storm cell produced winds of up to 60 mph as it traveled in a northeasterly direction, Murdock reported.
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported from River Front Park in Stony Point, a large tree was completely uprooted and landed on top of a gazebo, which was empty at the time.
However, other parts of the town were not nearly as lucky.
“I feel like my whole house is now destroyed, I don’t even know where to begin. I mean it’s devastating. I don’t know what to say,” said one woman who had a tree land on top of her home on Slater Drive.
Trees with roots at least 10 feet tall were uprooted as the storm plowed through the county.
“It seemed like within a matter of 10 minutes it had comes through so quickly. It almost felt like a small tornado,” Doug Jobson said.
CBS 2’s Lou Young was on Benson Street in West Haverstraw, where a large tree fell onto a house.
“The tree fell into the neighbor’s kitchen. The tree is actually in the kitchen. The whole roof is opened up,” resident Kelvin Martinez told Young. “The wind was at least 50 [mph]. You couldn’t really see nothing. It was just gusts of wind coming at you, hailing…the thunder was crazy, loud.”
Martinez added the whole storm started around 4:30 p.m. and only lasted about 10 minutes before moving out. It may have been brief, but it created dangerous conditions.
“It was horrible. The rain was so bad you couldn’t see through it,” Evelyn Burns told CBS 2’s Young.
Even being indoors provided scant protection as the storm ripped through the area.
“Pouring rain and wind and she said, ‘tornado!’ and I hung up on her and got my son and got the hell out of here,” said Lori Peterson, who had been on the phone with a neighbor.
The storm left as quickly as it arrived, leaving a path of damage in it’s wake.
“It was extremely windy, really quickly,” Christine Scher said, “You couldn’t see out the front window and within minutes it was clear and the sun came out. It was bizarre.”
The system weakened as it tracked toward Westchester County and the Connecticut border, Murdock reported. As a result, severe thunderstorm warnings for a number of counties were canceled around 5:40 p.m.
A flood advisory in Rockland County expired at 6:30 p.m.
The remnants of the storm reached Norwalk, Conn. by 7:30 p.m., Murdock reported.
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