A pedestrian parth is blocked by a downed tree in Maria Hernandez Park after a tornado snaked through town this afternoon. — Photo by Jeremy Sapienza
This evening at about 5:30pm, a tornado snaked through Bushwick, pulling pieces off buildings and damaging trees on every street. Small street trees seemed to weather the winds better than the larger trees in the parks, many of which were smashed in half or had many limbs ripped off. Maria Hernandez Park is the scene of terrible tree carnage, and the surrounding street are littered with large branches. The JMZ line is running again after being shut down, and the L line only runs until Myrtle-Broadway from Manhattan because of a felled tree.
The NYPD press office told BushwickBK that a vacant building at 193 Wilson has partially collapsed, with no injuries. Con Edison reports wires down on Stockholm Street near Irving Avenue, and on Greene Avenue at Cypress and also Onderdonk Avenues. Power outages are reported at Stanhope Street and Cypress Avenue.
The National Weather Service issued a severe weather alert and tornado warning after 5pm, catching residents off guard. Thunderstorms may start up and continue throughout the evening into the morning. NWS will not confirm that the system included tornadoes but those on the ground with experience confirm that there were indeed many tornadoes around Brooklyn.
“I didn’t even know it was gonna rain today,” said a Bushwick resident picking up debris in front of her apartment building, including a smashed roof hatch.
”I got rocked in the face by some debris as I opened my window to retrieve the AC,” said Myrtle-Broadway resident Michael Hernández.
There are reports of damage all across Brooklyn, including Park Slope, Cobble Hill, and Ridgewood in Queens. Wyckoff Heights hospital on Wyckoff Avenue saw damage to its entrance, with insulation ripped out and tossed around the port cochere and sidewalk. Scaffolding at the Bushwick Houses public housing complex has collapsed onto cars, and there are reports of people trapped in the debris.
Some street signs were twisted and snapped by falling branches and debris. A Central Avenue resident reports that her neighbor’s chimney has collapsed, and roofing materials are strewn about the neighborhood. Some trees that did not snap are leaning over. A lightpole is down at Knickerbocker and DeKalb Avenues.
FDNY firefighters responded to a partial roof collapse at Central Avenue and Jefferson Street, but the building has not been evacuated.
On Starr Street near Wyckoff, a construction fence broke, pinning a man under plywood and iron fencing, and hitting a woman in the head. Neither required medical treatment, but there might be others who were injured.
On Twitter, there are other reports of flooded and tree-damaged cars, but no reports of injuries. On a humorous note, there is already a Twitter account for the tornado: @BKLYNTornado.
Tempering Twitter reliability, widely circulated rumors on the short-messaging service that a hospital had collapsed and that 7 or 10 people died in Maria Hernandez Park are false.