Hundreds of trees were uprooted in Brooklyn and Queens, trapping people inside crushed cars and sending thousands of people running for cover.
"To see something like this in Middle Village is amazing," said Jack, standing outside his home.
Con Edison said electrical wires were down across the city and there were thousands of power failures. According to Mayor Michael Bloomber, who was in Queens for an event following the storm, 25,000 people across the five boroughs lost power.
"This is one of those things that while it may be an act of God it doesn’t make it any easier for us," said the mayor while surveying damage in Queens. "The good news is that most people were safe, just annoyed – traffic being bad or a tree coming down in their yard."
Some reports have Woodside as the center of the storm, but tours of Middle Village revealed that Juniper Boulevard North took a severe beating. News reports state that the storm took a path through Middle Village, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Flushing and on to Bayside.
The National Weather Service has not confirmed that it was a tornado.
There were reports that a large air-conditioning unit on the Sports Authority store on Woodhaven Boulevard and Metropolitan Avenue came off its mount.
Ted, a Forest Hills resident, said that the storm stopped as quickly as it started in Forest Hills, but in its wake were dozens of downed trees and wrecked cars. “Bang, bang, bang, bang was the sound coming seconds apart during the storm," he said.
Hundreds of people throughout Queens and Brooklyn took to the streets by 6:15 p.m. with cameras and cell phones recording the aftermath. “The streets are a mess,” said one Middle Village woman. “It’s going to take a week to clean all this up.”