Thursday, September 16th.: A quick moving violent late summer storm ripped through neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens causing devastation rarely seen in NYC. At about 5:40pm in Middle Village, Queens the skies darkened and at one point lightning seemed so frequent that a strobe effect was evident. Then the winds picked up and became so violent that many Middle Villagers were reminded of 1987 when the neighborhood was struck by what seemed to be a tornado. In that storm hundreds of trees were uprooted and carried several blocks.
The National Weather Service designated the 2010 storm a Macroburst with winds of 125 mph. The storm lasted only a few minutes but when it passed people went outside and couldn’t believe the devastation.
Many of the neighborhood’s majestic trees fell victim to the storm. The center of the destruction seemed to be around Juniper Valley Park and the Furmanville Avenue area but few streets south of Eliot Avenue were spared. Several blocks from 80th street to Woodhaven Boulevard off Furmanville Avenue lost many or most of their trees.
Power was out to thousands of residents and the neighborhood became gridlocked with drivers desperately trying to make their way home.
A woman was killed on the Grand Central Parkway after she pulled over her car to the shoulder presumably to ride out the storm. A large tree adjacent to the parkway came crashing down and crushed the vehicle.
The accident only added to the evening rush hour mayhem. The GCP was closed, the LIE was already down to a crawl from downed trees adjacent to the expressway.