Weather Service confirms F2 tornado in area
(New York-WABC, July 13, 2006) (WABC) -- The National Weather Service confirmed what many people already believed. The wild weather on Wednesday was in fact a tornado and intensified after touching down in Sleepy Hollow.
Eyewitness News has learned from weather officials that an F1 tornado touched down in Sleepy Hallow, intensified to an F2 in Hawthorne and then dropped down to an F1 as it moved east towards Connecticut.
Cell phone video taken by an Eyewitness News viewer shows what clearly looks like a twister.
Witnesses say whatever it was strong and it was scary.
Witness: "Everybody just screamed and panicked and the whole staircase collapsed."
Moments of terror, then the silence of devastation. The funnel cloud blew one Hawthorne building apart, steel and concrete no match for the storm.
On Route 9A a state trooper and his cruiser were swept off the ground and spun like a top.
Westchester Police Department: "The vehicle was picked up and turned over three times and it came to rest. Sergeant was able to get out, he sustained minor injuries."
The storm cut a visible path, splintering trees, shredding power lines and leaving thousand of homes without electricity.
It took hours to clear debris and reopen the Saw Mill River Parkway and Metro-North's Harlem line.
In Sleepy Hollow, the mayor declared a state of emergency, his downtown reeling from the storm.
Witness: "Damage wise, it's like the worst I've ever scene it."
The storm blitzed the northwest corner of Greenwich , tearing into back-country homes.
Contractor: "All of a sudden, the wind just started to roar, it started lifting plywood off the roof. It took all the tarps off the roof, the plywood was literally just spinning around in the air."
Karen Olstein saw the funnel cloud twisting the very life out of trees as it headed her way.
"It's the worse I've ever seen. It was just moving, I have no doubt it was a funnel cloud," she said.
Fortunately there were only three minor injuries.
Most of the Westchester customers still without power are in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, New Castle, Hawthorne and Mount Pleasant.
Con Edison is asking anyone who sees down lines to stay away from them and call the utility company at 1-800-75-CONED.
Faber said downed trees were causing havoc for the workers who had to cut up and remove the trees before they could even get to restoration of the power lines. In Dobbs Ferry, police said that Children's Village was still without power.
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