Tag Archives: Breezy Point

One month after Sandy, residents still face a long road to recovery


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The hum of generators and the roar of truck engines can be heard throughout Breezy Point as residents and emergency workers feverishly push to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.

Before that fateful Monday, October 29, when Sandy tore through the East Coast, life in the small beach town was relatively simple. But now, a month later, people have been working around the clock to clean up the destruction that Sandy left behind.

“We’re back to a little bit of normal,” said Breezy Point resident Liz Bianco, as she brought her young daughter to swim practice. “We’re hanging in there.”

During the storm, Bianco’s home was infiltrated with three feet of water, and although thankful she still has a home, she has a lot of work to do.

Days after the damage was done, Bianco spoke to The Courier as she filled water jugs at a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) installed water pump to take back to the local church where she and other evacuees were staying. Her two daughters, Julian, nine and Leigh, four, sat nearby.

Now, she and countless others are following procedure to restore their flood-damaged homes. The sea water inside Bianco’s house left stains on the wall and destroyed every item inside. Those who suffered a similar fate have had to throw out all of the lost items and wait for an insurer to come and survey what is left to determine what compensation they will receive.

Aside from the extensive water damage that most of the Breezy Point homes received, a fire that sparked during the storm rapidly spread and reduced 111 houses to ashes.

“These people need all the help we can give them,” said Richie Nouvertne of NASDI, LLC, a demolition remediation company. “Whatever they need the help with, we give it to them.”

Nouvertne said that they have been filling roughly 50 trucks every day with debris and garbage from people’s houses.

“We can’t get out of the way fast enough before the debris comes back,” said Nouvertne. “After we clean it, we leave the block spotless, then we’ll come back and it looks like we weren’t even there. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Despite the time that has passed, much of the disaster area hasn’t changed. Some homes still remain off of their foundations; facades of other houses are still in shambles; doors and windows have been replaced with wood panels, and the number of damaged household items continues to grow. Refrigerators, bathtubs and insulation pieces can be found all along the streets.

Recovery efforts, however, are still very apparent. Aside from sanitation trucks, the Breezy Point roads are filled with contracting, heating and plumbing, and moving and storage trucks. Mobile units from the Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) and more are set up in parking lots, and food trucks and tents are set up, serving free meals to residents and emergency workers.

“There was no power, there was no hot food,” said Bobby Eustace of the FDNY’s 17th Battalion. “The one thing we can do to comfort people and to ease their pain is give them a hot plate of food.”

Local stores such as the supermarket and hardware store are up and running, taking customers day in and day out. Signs are posted throughout the streets, advertising free help clearing out homes or asking volunteers to sign up to aid relief efforts.

“All we want to do is help people. We’ve seen everyone come together. When disaster hits New Yorkers love each other,” said Nouvertne.

30 NYC schools looted after Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of schools.nyc.gov

In addition to homes and businesses, 30 schools have reported looting in some of the most Sandy-damaged areas, the New York City Department of Education told NY1.

Looters took $100,000 worth of equipment from Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Beach. According to NY1, the stolen goods included approximately 90 iPads, six to 10 iMacs and two automated external defibrillators.

Scholars’ Academy is still closed because of storm-related damage, and a recovery and relief fund has been set up to help the institution.

At other schools thieves have taken cameras, calculators and a projector.

The lifted goods are reportedly not covered by insurance.

The NYPD recently reported that most of the 226 Sandy-related arrests were burglaries, and has assigned extra police on extended tours of duty to the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Coney Island and Staten Island. Authorities also brought in light towers, police cars and helicopters to help illuminate those areas.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast. High of 43. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 34 with a windchill as low as 28. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Aki Sasamoto: Centripetal Run

Performance artist Aki Sasamoto explores parallels between gray situations in personal lives and electromagnetic radiation that forms the universe. The show opens with Pau Atela’s pendulum mechanism, leading into Sasamoto’s movement exploration and interaction with her objects. Starts at 8 p.m. at the Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Rockaway residents getting that sink-ing feeling

If lack of power and flood damage wasn’t enough, some Rockaway residents are getting the sinking suspicion that the ground just might literally cave in underneath them. Read more: New York Daily News

Parents raise safety concerns as school in Queens reopens early

Stephen P. Grill, the principal of a public school in Belle Harbor, Queens, strode down an auditorium aisle on Tuesday morning, past chairs that had been submerged by floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy and police tape that was blocking a back door. He stood in front of a wall obscuring a badly damaged stage. Read more: New York Times

Some Sandy victims show signs of PTSD, hospital says

Adam Funtleyder lost his first floor and his basement to flood water from Hurricane Sandy, but he also almost lost his life. Read more: NY1

Breezy break-in bust

A Breezy Point man was busted for breaking into his neighbor’s storm-damaged beach bungalow the day after Thanksgiving, cops said yesterday. Read more: New York Post

Bus slams into Long Island Home, killing 5-year-old boy, injuring at least 8 others

A 5-year-old boy was killed Tuesday night, and at least eight other people were injured, when a commuter bus plowed into a Nassau County home. Read more: CBS New York

Rock Center’s 80-Foot tree ready to shine

After two weeks of prep, The Most Famous Christmas Tree in the World is ready to get lit up. Read more: NBC New York

No one reported shot, stabbed or slashed in New York City on Monday, police sources say

No news really is good news — not a single person was reported shot, stabbed or slashed in New York City on Monday, police sources said. Read more: New York Daily News

Rice concession on Libya fails to mollify 3 in GOP

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told lawmakers Tuesday that her initial explanation of the deadly Sept. 11 raid in Libya was wrong, but her concession failed to mollify three Republican senators who signaled they would try to block her possible nomination to be secretary of state. Read more: AP

 

 

 

Former firefighter Steve Buscemi lends support to Rockaway first responders


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

He’s played a mass murderer, a homeless man and one of the most powerful mob bosses in the country. But possibly his most famous, and proudest role, was as a real-life FDNY firefighter.

Actor Steve Buscemi visited Breezy Point the day before Thanksgiving to show his support for the city’s largest firefighting community.

The “Boardwalk Empire” star has been working with a firefighter advocacy group to get the needs and resources to firefighters who, despite continuing to save lives, have lost their homes or all their personal belongings.

Breezy Point has long been known to be the largest community of firefighters in the city. While many of them were out battling blazes, or responding to calls, many of their homes were damaged from the storm.

“They go to work; they go to their firehouse, they do a 24 [hour shift], then they come right back out then they’re volunteering,” Buscemi said. “They’re getting burned out. They need as many resources as they can.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, while visiting first responders for Thanksgiving, also noted that the massive first responder community had continued to work through the devastating storm – while knowing their own homes were either under water or on fire.

It was notable and honorable, Cuomo said, “that people put their own well-being aside, literally, to help others. And that’s what the New York first responders are all about.”

Buscemi said that, although many will get a $30,000 grant from FEMA, many in the area did not have the proper insurance and Friends of Firefighters was leading an effort to give them any extra help.

“They need help and we have to keep shining a light on these areas,” he said. “Because they need as many resources and recovery as they can get.”

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 46. Winds from the West at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 36. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT of the DAY: Selections from “The Nutcracker” with the Ohman School of Ballet

Come to the Queens Library in Flushing for excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Christmas ballet “The Nutcracker,” performed in full costume by the Ohman School of Ballet. Dances that will be performed include “Marzipan,” “The Sugarplum Fairy,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Mechanical Soldier” and more. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Lowlife pigs robbed kids’ banks in Breezy Point

Sandy spared their children’s piggy banks. But some heartless crook did not. A Breezy Point, Queens, family still reeling from the superstorm returned home after Thanksgiving to find their ravaged bungalow ransacked. Read more: New York Daily News

Bronx man charged in Queens woman’s death

Police have charged a Bronx man with murder in connection to the death of a 22-year-old Queens woman who was unconscious in a parked car. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Damaged vacation homes not eligible for FEMA grants

Superstorm Sandy delivered the injury. Now comes the insult. Summer home owners, common in beach communities like the Rockaways, may be financially wiped out if they didn’t spring for pricey flood insurance because FEMA provides grants only for primary residences. Read more: New York Daily News

Cyber Monday likely to be busiest online sales day

Bye-bye Black Friday. So long Small Business Saturday. Now, it’s Cyber Monday’s turn. Read more: ABC New York

FEMA approves aver $664 million for Sandy recovery in New York state

The Federal Emergency Management Agency as of Sunday had approved more than $664 million to help New York state residents recover from Superstorm Sandy. Read more: CBS New York

LIRR, PATH and ferry service added

It’s getting a little easier to get to work in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Read more: Fox New York

Consumers to spend less if middle-class taxes rise: White House

A White House report says that if that Congress allows taxes to go up on middle-class families, consumers will spend $200 billion less in 2013. Read more: Reuters

226 Sandy-related arrests mostly burglaries, says NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The NYPD is continuing to take measures to combat Sandy-related thefts, as burglaries went up during the week of the storm.

Though burglaries only increased about 11 percent compared to the same week last year, it was the only crime to go up between October 29, the day Sandy hit, and November 4.

In the 100th and 101st Precincts in Queens, which cover some of the superstorm’s hardest hit areas in the Rockaway Peninsula, the uptick in thefts was much more dramatic.

In the 100th, burglaries were up from 2 to 16 from the same week last year and in the 101st there were 33 burglaries, up from zero.

According to authorities, burglaries account for most of the 226 Sandy-related arrests.

With those stats in mind, the NYPD has continued to assign extra police on extended tours of duty to the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Coney Island and Staten Island.

The NYPD has also brought in 500 light towers to neighborhoods still without power and are helping to illuminate those areas with police car and helicopter lights.

Authorities are also warning residents about automobile frauds and thefts related to Sandy.

Tow truck drivers are allegedly taking storm-damaged vehicles without permission, then storing them in private auto pounds and charging exorbitant fees between $1,000 and $2,300 when the owners try to recover their cars, said police.

Additionally, the NYPD said that in other flood disasters, fraudsters will take vehicles that have been declared total losses and instead of scrapping them, will refurbish and resell the cars.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 48. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Clear. Low of 36. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the West after midnight.

EVENT of the DAY

Monday nights at Rapture Lounge in Astoria, musicians, poets, writers, singers-songwriters, comedians and performance artists are invited to the bar’s open mic night. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

28 polls sites changed in Queens due to Sandy

Due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, 28 poll sites were forced to be moved for Election Day on Tuesday, November 6. Read more: Queens Courier

65 Queens schools to remain closed Monday

While a majority of city students will return to school after a week off due to Hurricane Sandy, some buildings sustained significant damage in the storm and are still not ready to hold classes. Read more: Queens Courier

Raw in the Rockaways: Hurricane Sandy victims huddle in cold with no lights, little food

Breezy Point could have been mistaken for a Soweto shanty town Sunday as residents picked through the ruins of their homes and used blankets to ward off the cold. Read more: New York Daily News

While fuel is promised, drivers wait hours for gas

As long lines persisted at pumps across the region, government officials and gas station owners in New York and New Jersey said Sunday that the fuel shortage could last for several more days as stations struggled to maintain supplies or reopen after losing power. Read more: New York Times

Most subway service back, but slow go expected monday morning

In the midst of the destruction and rebuilding, reality began to set in Sunday night for New Yorkers who must return to work. Read more: CBS New York

Even with race canceled, marathoners run in Central Park

Never mind the cancellation. Here comes the marathon. Thousands of runners poured into New York City’s Central Park on Sunday morning to do what they had prepared so long to do – put in 26.2 miles. AP/ABC New York

With crane secure, nearly all of west 57th Street reopens

Almost all of West 57th Street is back open now that the boom of a dangling crane in Midtown has been secured. Read more: NY1

On final lap, Romney, Obama focus on key states

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney storm into the final day of their long presidential contest, mounting one last effort to protect their flanks while engaging in the toughest battleground of all – Ohio. Read more: AP

 

Sandy death toll continues to rise


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DSC_0255 (800x533)

With each report, the number of lives lost to Hurricane Sandy rises.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced shortly after 1 p.m. that 41 residents died in the storm.

As the search and rescue missions carry on, the number of fatalities may continue to rose, Bloomberg said.

More than 5,000 residents remain in  the evacuation centers throughout the city that were consolidated from the 76 open during the storm.

The Queens centers still open are Hillcrest High School, Queens College and York College.

Food and water will continue to be distributed in areas hardest hit by the storm between 1-5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Queens locations are:

  • Beach 51st Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard
  • Red Fern Avenue and Beach 12th Street
  • Beach 84th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard

Residents are asked to bring their own bags if possible and are allowed three meals and five bottles of water.  Residents of Breezy Point should drink only bottled water, tap water should not be consumed.

Con Ed is also distributing dry and wet ice at 121-10 Rockaway Boulevard.

Some other updates from the Bloomberg press conference:

  • The three-passenger restriction for driving into Manhattan will end at 5 p.m. today.
  • The Holland Tunnel is open on a limited basis for commercial vehicles and buses.
  • East River Ferry service resumed yesterday and the Staten Island Ferry will be running a full schedule tomorrow.
  • A majority of parks and playgrounds will open this weekend.
  • A disaster assistance service center has opened at MCU Park at 1904 Surf Avenue in Coney Island.

From the ashes: Breezy Point residents search for hope


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

BY ALEXA ALTMAN AND MAGGIE HAYES

Sifting through the charred remains of his life-long Breezy Point home, Kieran Burke searched for something left behind.

“You’d be surprised what survives,” he said, soot-encrusted shovel in hand.

Burke’s home, along with 110 others, burned down in the fire that spread throughout the charming beachfront neighborhood during Hurricane Sandy. The storm, displacing thousands, left residents searching through the shattered pieces of their lives on the way to recovery.

Residents of the area claim Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s post-storm presence has been minimal. Several received literature, indicating sources for food, clothing and shelter. Others say the agency is nowhere to be found.

See the pictures of Sandy’s devastation

Liz Bianco filled three jugs of water at a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) installed station with her two young daughters, Julian,9, and Leigh,4. The trio’s home, while spared from the blaze, was infiltrated by three feet of sea water. As waves crashed against her front door, she saw embers falling from the sky.

“It was like being in a fire storm,” said Bianco.

All she could think, she said, was to get the hell out.

Nearby, Burke continued to dig.

“There’s going to be a lot of red tape, a lot of politicians and a lot of people with ulterior motives,” said Burke about restoring the hometown he always knew.

Burke, 40, a member of the FDNY, paused his search for a moment to examine a pile of documents spared by the flames. Flipping through the few unscathed sheets, he gasped at an untouched photograph.

The picture — two smiling men on a pristine beach nearly 20 years ago — was Burke and his best friend Matthew, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

“It’s going to be alright,” he said through tears. “Now I know it’s going to be alright — Matthew’s going to take care of us.”

During the storm, Burke and his wife Jennifer, 39, stayed with his parents in their nearby home. When he saw the fire break out from a few blocks away, Burke immediately ran to help quell the rising flames. Within 15 minutes, his home was ablaze. With only a few minutes to spare, he grabbed their laptop and a few important papers.

Now, with only blackened rubble left, he continued his search for that which was left behind — his wife’s wedding ring.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: A slight chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 54. Southwest wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Wednesday night: A slight chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 46. Southwest wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Local death toll climbs to 35; more than a year to recover

Large swaths of the New York area looked like a post-apocalyptic wasteland yesterday in the aftermath of a colossal hurricane that killed at least 35 people and crippled transit and power networks. It will take a year or more to fully recover from the assault of Hurricane Sandy — the most devastating storm to ever strike the Big Apple. Read more: NY Post

City continues efforts to restore power, transportation following storm

New Yorkers are beginning to pick up the pieces as crews work around-the-clock to restore the city’s power grid and transit system following Sandy’s deadly path of destruction across the five boroughs. An MTA spokesperson says that local and express bus service will mostly run today but adds that buses will be detoured based on road conditions. Read more: NY1

Damage estimates paint bleak picture

It will take deep pockets to pay off this Sandy-soaked bill. Economic damage from superstorm Sandy could cost the region a staggering $10 billion to $20 billion, according to initial estimates. “The storm sort of played out the way we expected it to,” said Bill Keogh, president of EQECAT, a risk-management modeling firm that studies natural disasters for the insurance industry. Read more: NY Post

Widow sues elite security guard company over husband’s death

A company that provides security to the New York Stock Exchange and other big firms must pay for killing “an innocent victim” who was run down by a driver while eating his lunch, a lawsuit charges. Sorel Depas-Medina, a hard-working clerk in the state Attorney General’s Office, was eating on Broad St. when a Honda SUV, driven by a T&M Protection Resources employee, jumped a curb and pinned him against the wall on Aug. 23. Read more: Daily News

Looters ‘swipe’ up the mess in chaos zones

Hurricane Sandy brought out the worst yesterday in some sleazy New Yorkers, who looted stores and homes across the city. Some posed as Con Ed workers to dupe their victims. Police arrested more than a dozen looters in the Rockaways and Coney Island, which had been evacuated, and stood guard outside ravaged stores at the South Street Seaport. Read more: NY Post

Food trucks rolling

There may be no light in the kitchen, but there’s likely food in the pantry. The city’s food network roared back to life yesterday, with trucks rolling in and out of the Hunts Point Cooperative Market in The Bronx and other key distribution hubs. Read more: NY Post

Breezy Point blaze destroys 80+ homes


| brennison@queenscourier.com


A six-alarm fire destroyed more than 80 homes in Breezy Point as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze and rescued residents.

The fire broke out at approximately 11 p.m. last night in Breezy Point, one of the neighborhoods Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered evacuated ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Nearly 10 hours later, areas of the flames are still smoldering, along with pockets of fire, officials said.

The fire completely destroyed an area of more than 80 homes. Firefighters had to battle chest-high flooding and needed baots to make several rescues.

Bloomberg said the blaze spread like a forest fire with winds carrying the flames from house to house.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital, authorities said.

 

Queens’s Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 70. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Clear. Low of 57. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Rent A White Guy: The Musical

A new multilingual musical tale about the life of foreigners living in China, Rent A White Guy: The Musical, makes its New York premiere at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City tonight. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York area cleans up after strong storms

Residents and municipalities across the New York viewing area are cleaning up after a September storm. Read more: ABC New York

With storm season looming, Broad Channel residents push city to move quickly on flood control plan

Broad Channel residents, facing the annual barrage of autumn storms and floods, say the city is dragging its feet on a plan to repair vulnerable streets. Read more: New York Daily News

Report: Day care owners allegedly defrauded DOE

The owners of several day care centers in Queens are accused of defrauding the Department of Education out of more than $35,000. Read more: NY1

Body of missing scuba diver found

The body of a snorkeler who went missing last week was pulled from the water off Queens Tuesday morning, sources said. Read more: New York Daily News

F.B.I. criticizes officer’s role in a terror case

The undercover New York police detective at the heart of a case against a Queens man accused in a terror plot came under criticism from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his handling of an earlier terrorism inquiry, according to a legal document. Read more: New York Times

Romney refocuses as Obama decries ‘victim’ claim

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are moving the presidential campaign back to familiar ground, grappling over the proper role of government in a debate where clumsy, seemingly dismissive statements have made both men susceptible to caricature. Read more: AP

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup2

Man dies after jumping in front of subway train in Queens

A man died Friday after jumping in front of a Queens subway train, sources said. The victim, who was not immediately identified, leaped onto the tracks as an eastbound No. 7 train barreled into the 52nd St. station at Roosevelt Ave. in Woodside about 1:30 p.m., the sources said. Read more: Daily News

Feds interview Calif. filmmaker linked to anti-Islamic movie

A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff’s station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed at the station in his hometown of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Walker said. Read more: NY Post

Two U.S. Marines killed at Afghanistan base where Prince Harry is stationed

Heavily-armed insurgents attacked a British air base in southern Afghanistan Friday, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding several other troops, U.S. officials said. Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is stationed at the base on a four-month combat tour in Afghanistan. Read more: Daily News

Accused serial arsonist under arrest

A man accused of setting off 13 separate fires in Queens is now under arrest. Thien Dinh, 43, is charged with arson, reckless endangerment and burglary. Fire marshals say he has 45 prior arrests for burglary and property damage. Read more: NY1

Queens 18-year-old files $10 million lawsuit against city, alleging cops botched her restraining order

A Queens woman who was stabbed by her ex-lover is suing the city over claims cops failed to enforce a restraining order. Last June, Daniel Paguay, 21, attacked the 18-year-old in her Corona home, dragging her out of bed to a nearby grocery store, where he used her as a human shield before plunging a 10-inch knife into her back three times, police said. Read more: Daily News

Rescue crews conduct search off Queens for diver

Rescue crews took to the waters off Breezy Point, Queens on Friday night after a diver was reported missing that morning. New York City Police Department boats and personnel from the Fire Department and the Coast Guard scoured the area Friday morning. Read more: NY1 

Tornado touches down in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Breezy

More than a breeze spun through Breezy Point last weekend as a tornado touched down, disrupting the oceanside community.

Trees and roofs took the brunt of the damage during the twister that tore through Queens on Saturday, September 1. Several roofs were torn off at the Breezy Point Surf Club.

Nobody was hurt at the club, said General Manager Bob Ordan, and he expects cleanup to last a couple of more weeks.

“We’re lucky the storm hit this weekend and not last weekend,” Councilmember Eric Ulrich said, who surveyed the damage in the area shortly after the storm. “Because last weekend the Surf Club was filled with people.”

Saturday saw a lot of wind shear in the atmosphere, which is the turning of winds and a key ingredient in tornadoes, said National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Joey Picca. The moisture and storms in the area combined with the wind shear resulted in the tornado. Winds were estimated at 70 mph, placing it at the lower end of the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which measures the storms.

Joey Mure, 16, just got home from the gym when he saw the tornado across the water near Coney Island.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It was huge.”

The Breezy Point resident said he could hear a whistle from the storm, but that was soon overtaken by the sounds of sirens.

This is not the first time a tornado has touched down in Queens in recent years. The city has experienced an uptick in these cyclones, though Picca said it is too short of a period to say with certainty that a trend is developing. Between 1950 and 2010, the area was hit with 10 tornadoes.

“We’re much better at observing tornadoes now. So it’s certainly possible that long ago there were one or two that were missed,” he said.

Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder said in the future he hopes warning times for tornadoes can be increased.

“When people started to see [the tornado] was the first time we got the warning,” he said.

The NWS put out a tornado warning at 10:55 a.m., minutes before the wind tunnel landed in Queens.

Picca said weaker twisters are harder to detect ahead of time resulting in warning times of mere minutes.

Mure said he hopes there is not a need for a warning anytime soon.

“I hope I never see one again.”

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 77. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph shifting to the NNW in the afternoon. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 57. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY

Monday is the opening of a special retrospective exhibit of Swiss abstract artist H.A. Sigg. at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College. The exhibit ends October 26. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Career criminal surrenders in Queens shooting of highly decorated cop

A career criminal who was on the lam for about a month after shooting a highly decorated NYPD sergeant in Queens turned himself in Sunday, police said. Read more: New York Daily News 

Brooklyn, Queens locals clean up damage from two tornadoes

Cleanup efforts continued in Brooklyn and Queens on Sunday, a day after tornadoes roared through parts of both boroughs, and residents were relieved to know that no one was reported injured by the twisters. Read more: NY1

Queens carwash’s employees are first in city to join union

Workers at a carwash in Queens have overwhelmingly voted to join a union, organizers said Sunday, in the first major victory in a six-month effort in New York City to unionize workers in an industry the organizers say is rife with labor law violations. Read more: New York Times

Queens trio to launch co-working space in Astoria

A trio of Astorians are trying to entice local freelancers, entrepreneurs and stay-at-home employees out of their homes and corner coffee shops and into a communal working space. Read more: New York Daily News

Significant help reportedly on the way for those who got sick after 9/11

The 11th anniversary of 9/11 is just two days away, and now help may finally be on the way for those who got sick after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Read more: CBS New York

Obama squeaks out Aug. fundraising win over Romney

President Barack Obama squeaked out a fundraising victory over Mitt Romney in August as the candidates gear up for the final stretch of their closely contested campaign. Read more: AP