One of storm's survivors, Marc Wells, captured this harrowing footage of the tornado's assault on his own Washington home from inside the residence.
Amazingly, neither he nor his daughter Josie were injured.
"Here is what my oldest daughter Josie Taylor Wells And I experienced," he writes in the video's description. "I am so glad Kerry Gorman Wells and the other girls were out of town when this storm came through."
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Via Slate, this wonderful little vignette amidst the devastation:
Let's hope there are more stories like this coming out of Moore, Okla., where people continue to pick through the rubble of their town for family, friends, and pets who managed to survive the massive tornado.
In the video below you'll meet Barbara Garcia, an elderly woman who rode out the storm by taking refuge in the bathroom of her since-destroyed home. Things get good—and may just get a little dusty in your office—at about the 1:35-mark when she discovers her missing dog, shaken but seemingly largely uninjured, in the rubble.
"Well I got God to answer one prayer to let me be OK, but he answered both of them because this was my second prayer," Garcia says, partly to the camera and partly to herself.
And in other good news, the medical examiner has lowered the number of estimated deaths from the monster tornado to 24.
I lived in a small Victorian town outside Philadelphia in 1991 when a tornado came through, and even though the town was only one square mile, there were so many trees down, it took an hour to get from one end of the town to my apartment -- and we didn't have power for three days. I can only imagine the scale of the cleanup that New Yorkers face today:
A flash storm that followed tornado warnings powered through New York City Thursday evening, with winds up to 70 miles per hour knocking down trees, damaging buildings, destroying cars and causing the death of at least one person.
The severe weather wreaked havoc on the city’s transportation system in the middle of the evening commute. All Long Island Rail Road service was suspended out of Manhattan due to downed trees on the tracks near Sunnyside, Queens. LIRR service was also disrupted between Brooklyn and Queens, and the entire 7 subway line was inoperative for several hours.
Several roadways were closed to vehicular traffic because of the debris. A woman was killed when a tree toppled onto her vehicle on the Grand Central Parkway near Jewel Avenue, authorities said.
The storm also knocked out power to more than 24,000 customers in Queens and 4,800 households in Staten Island, according to Con Edison. More than 570 customers were without power in Brooklyn. New Jersey power authorities said about 40,000 households were without electricity in the wake of the storm.
Nearly an hour after the storm passed, 911 switchboards were inundated with calls of injuries but it was unclear just how many were considered serious, a spokesman for the Fire Department said. The spokesman said several firefighters responded to scenes in Queens and Brooklyn where motorists were stuck in their vehicles after having trees fall on them.
Aaron Donovan, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman, urged LIRR passengers to “sit tight for the moment” and not head to Penn Station or Jamaica. New passengers were being turned away from Penn Station, he said.
The MTA was mobilizing shuttle buses to take LIRR passengers from the station in Jamaica, Queens, to points east, but Donovan urged passengers not to go to Jamaica because of limited bus capacity.
While a tornado was never officially declared, a trained weather spotter reported seeing a funnel cloud about two miles north-northeast of Staten Island’s Huguenot neighborhood, according to National Weather Service spokesman Sean Potter. Wind speeds of 70 mph were estimated for Staten Island, while parts of Brooklyn saw sustained 60 mph winds, Potter said.
Brandon Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Upland, N.Y., said the agency received “lots of reports of damage in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens” in the wake of the storm. “Primarily tree damage, large branches all over the place,” he said.