Friday, September 17, 2010

Tornado 2010: A Personal Account

I feel your pain...

I was coming home from an outing in Rego Park on September 16, 2010 around 6 PM, and just when I walked into my building lobby, I noticed a swirl, and then the skies turned pitch black. Then I heard a snap. Everything unfolded in no time. It is hard to believe that we experienced a tornado, but my senses interpret it as such. After it subsided, I surveyed the damage on my block, and huge branches of 3 mature trees were snapped off. One tremendous branch was blown half a block away, alongside an SUV. The corner of Public School 175 on 102nd St was roped off, due to 1/3 of a mature tree on the ground.

A mature tree by Forest Hills Jewish Center, looks like it received a massive pruning. I was just remarking on this blog earlier this month, how Forest Hills Jewish Center deserves kudos for maintaining that 60 year-old tree very well. Across the street is MacDonald Park, where trees have plummeted on top of benches and tables, and in the road. Cars are smashed too. Long-term business, HB Chevrolet had part of its glass front blown off, and the "HB" of its sign blew away. MacDonald Park, Burns St and Continental Ave in the Forest Hills Gardens, and Yellowstone Blvd off the north side of Queens Blvd seems to have suffered the worst, from what I have seen so far.

The sirens were ongoing during the evening, and the extent of the damage in some parts of the neighborhood and elsewhere in the boroughs is very disheartening. The neighborhood and beyond seems to have experienced a war, but of nature. My heart goes out to the family of the victim on the Grand Central Parkway. RIP! It proves that we have to be thankful for every moment. I also must say RIP to the countless precious trees that have gone on the wayside! They take decades to mature, but in moments, some were uprooted. It all came to an end, but may we make repairs efficiently, and coordinate a campaign to replant some of the missing trees.

Let's reflect upon our experiences, but try not to let it become an obstacle towards our future. The moral is to be more respectful of our lives, your neighbors, and all that our community has to offer, including its natural wonders. <3

Photos & an account from my friend's "Edge of The City: A Forest Hills, NY Blog"

- Michael Perlman


  1. Thanks for your concern, Michael. I saw how black the sky had become from my office in lower Manhattan, yet I suffered no damage or injury from the storm.

  2. Even though only about a mile away from the tornedo's destruction, I saw no damage in my immediate neighborhood of Rego Park. I guess it hadn't quite touched down yet.Unfortunately the neighbor of a woman I know in Forest Hills was severely injured after falling off a ladder while surveying damage to her roof.
    The sky did get black in my area, with a tremendous bang of thunder and dense sheets of rain. Something big(plastic furniture?)flew off an above terrace, grazing mine but doing no damage. My cat was terrified. Two squirrels had been on my 11th floor terrace screen a minute or two before the storm and got my attention by emitting alarmed loud calls. They scampered off just in time and hopefully weren't hurt. Animals sense storms coming.