Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wrath Of God

About once a year, the New York City area, usually Northern Jersey, sometimes Westchester County, suffers a tornado.

For nearly anyone else who has a tornado infestation, our tornadoes are things you guys probably drive through: F0.

Not today.:
National Weather Service officials confirmed Wednesday night that a tornado had touched down in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn this morning about 6:30 a.m.

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.

Hours after the tornado and violent thunderstorm pounded the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Sunset Park, Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited one of the blocks hardest hit, shook hands with residents and said that, thankfully, no one was seriously hurt there.
That's an F2, for those of you keeping score.

Worse, it's the second tornado to touch down around NYC in the past month. The last one was three weeks ago, during the storm that eventually was blamed for the massive steam pipe explosion on 41st & Lexington.

But, as they way, wait! There's more! The torrential rain of this storm, almost and in some areas over three inches in one hour, caused massive infrastructure flooding and shut down nearly every subway line in Manhattan, and most in Brooklyn and Queens (the Bronx lines are mostly elevated, and so service wasn't completely wiped out, altho getting to Manhattan was a challenge).

Major roadways were flooded out and by 6AM, the start of rush hour, police were reporting 35 separate automobile accidents on the area roadways.

The good news, because, you know, it's all about me, I was able to get a table at lunch easily. I did have a struggle on my commute, naturally, and what is normally a twenty minute train ride stretched out to an hour and twenty minutes.

New Yorkers, despite their fairly gruff reputation, shouldered it well. Although there were a few cross words, mostly from suburban commuters who felt the need to remind everyone of their self-importance when plowing into an already overcrowded subway car, most people understood that it was what it was: rain can take down the biggest subway system in America. Period.

By the way, the light show was awesome!