The 2017 New York City Tornado, also know as the great Brooklyn tornado, was a large and destructive tornado that hit Downtown New York City on May 19, 2017. It was the worst Tornado to ever hit New York City, and the worst to ever effect the state of New York. It was part of a strong storm system which effected parts of the Miswestern United States the previous day. It caused some of the most severe damage ever recorded. The storm also destroyed the Central Park in New York City.
Summary of the tornado
On Friday, May 19, the day started out as a sunny day across most of the Northeastern United States. The birds were chirping in the trees, and the ocean was clear. However, there was some concern for severe weather across parts of the area. But people were not scared. They knew that a tornado outbreak or severe weather event were not likely. They said to them selves, "they always blow it. The worst we ever get around here is a couple branches off trees". But they would later change their minds. The heat became so intense by early afternoon, and the winds were so strong, that people could tell there was some brutal weather coming up. By 4:00 PM, a Tornado watch was in effect for parts of the area. Dark clouds began to develop along the horizon. At 4:15 PM, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Most of Middlesex County as a severe storm rolled into the area. There were several reports of possible funnel clouds throughout the area as the storms rolled in. There were also reports of hail and wind. At 4:30 PM, A possible tornado was spotted near old bridge township in New Jersey. The tornado started to do EF5 damage near town. Several homes were obliterated near the town as the tornado passed through. The tornado exited town as a high end EF3, and made a slight turn to the Northeast toward Laurence Harbor. Boaters on Raritan Bay could only watch as the tornado moved closer toward the water. The tornado then drifted onto the water and started to speed up reaching speeds near 40 mph. As the storm began to move toward the New Jersey and New York border, people on the New Jersey side were forced to boat toward the New York Side as fast as they could. Sadly, the tornado was too fast, and none of the boaters were able to made it to land safely. By 5:00 PM, there was concern for some major severe weather across New York City. The tornado was spotted by several residents of Staten Island as the tornado moved along the water. The tornado was said to leave a large trail of foam behind as it swept across the waves. The tornado then Moved ashore along the western shores of Brooklyn, destroying several large and historic buildings as it moved through. People quickly left the area as the howling of the tornado became more loud. The tornado then destroyed Times Square at EF4 strength. The tornado continued toward Central park at around 30 mph. The tornado then strengthened to EF5 intensity at 5:20 PM, and caused major damage to Manhattan. The tornado destroyed several skyscrapers in the area. The tornado then started to move toward The Bronx, where it hit a small neighborhood and killed all 109 people in the area. A spotter driving through the village measured a wind gust to 278 mph.
Following the tornado, people all across the world were shocked by the damage this tornado did. It was the first EF5 tornado in this region since the 1985 Tornado in Wheatland, Pennsylvania. A state of emergency was declared for the Brooklyn Area following this event. This tornado was, for many, a terrible reminder of the tragedy that happened on September 11, 2001. Over 1,000 people lost their homes in this tornado, and over 200 were killed in this event. This tornado completely destroyed the Central Park, but the area has since been re-landscaped and the first 100 trees have grown back since this event, and the area was declared safe for public.
New York City Tornado museum
After the tornado, mayor Bill de Blasio declared construction of a new museum located in Flushing, which would open in the summer of 2018. It has an average of 600 visitors a day as of July 2018.