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A New York tornado? Brooklyn, Queens not exempt from major storms.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not unheard of to have a tornado in Queens, Brooklyn, or Manhattan. Skyscrapers do little to disrupt major storms, say meteorologists.

People walk down a street strewn with fallen trees and power lines in the Bayside section of Queens, in New York, on Friday.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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New York has Shubert Alley in the theater district, MacDougal Alley where Jackson Pollock lived in Greenwich Village, and even an occasional bowling alley.

But, who would have thought New York would be this year’s Tornado Alley?

Yes, tornadoes, as in the storm that picked up twelve year-old Dorothy Gale and transported her and some dog named Toto to a strange village. But, wait, that was rural Kansas, where tornadoes are supposed to happen. New Yorkers only expect to see them on Broadway sets while people are singing and dancing.


On Friday, New York was trying to clean up the mess after a wind storm roared through Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, blowing off roofs, downing trees, knocking out power lines, and causing one fatality. Although it’s not clear yet whether it was an actual tornado, meteorologists found one part of the deadly storm with 109 mile per hour winds.

Earlier this summer, on July 25th, a tornado roared through the Bronx, causing damage and injuring people.

“It’s a myth that cities cannot be hit with tornadoes and damaging winds,” says Henry Margusity, senior meteorologist and severe weather expert at in State College, Pa. “So far this year, New York has been hit more than the Midwest cities.”


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