08 August 2007

"Honey, we never get a tornado."

National Weather Service officials confirmed tonight that a tornado had touched down in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn this morning about 6:30 a.m. Oh my! I was in the shower!

The tornado, which was confirmed by twisting patterns in the debris left behind, was probably moving at speeds of 111 to 135 miles per hour, meteorologists said.

The mayor arrived at 68th Street and 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge at about 11:20 a.m., less than 3 hours after the tornado and storm blew the windows out of the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, toppled trees and branches and blew the roofs off a handful of row houses in the working-class neighborhood.

The storm also caused the partial collapse of that big IKEA-coloured building on 58th Street and 6th in Sunset Park.

One Bay Ridge resident, Vinny Ferraioli, 50, said he was getting ready to go to work as a computer programmer for ConEd when he turned on the Weather Channel and learned a tornado watch had been issued for Bay Ridge.

Vinny said his 11-year-old daughter became concerned and he tried to calm her fears. "'Honey,'" he told her, "'we never get a tornado.'"

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