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Four tornadoes touched down in separate New York and Connecticut counties as severe weather tore across the region Tuesday, officials say
EF1 tornadoes with max winds of 100 mph hit Stony Point in Rockland County and New Canaan in Fairfield
Ronkonkoma and New Castle also saw tornadoes on Tuesday afternoon.
Four tornadoes hit three separate New York counties and one Connecticut county as severe weather walloped the tri-state area Tuesday, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.
It's the most tornadoes in a day that the tri-state has seen since May 15, 2018, when there were five in the Catskills and Hudson Valley area, according to Storm Team 4.
One twister, an EF1 with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, touched down in Rockland County's Stony Point for about five minutes -- from 4:10 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. -- weaving a trail of destruction a mile long and 300 feet wide. Officials say it started in Harriman State Park and ended near Wilderness Drive.
"The whole house was shaking, and you could see where it was like a finger coming down, and once it passed it was calm," said homeowner Colleen Doyle.
Another homeowner, Anthony Furia, said his granddaughter kept calling him over from the front of the house: "'Papa, there's something swirling in the front of the house.'"
Officials confirmed a second EF1 tornado that touched down at 4:47 p.m. and plowed through nearly 3.76 miles of New Castle over nine minutes. No one was injured by the twister, which had estimated maximum wind speeds of 110 mph.
The NWS also confirmed an EF1 tornado touched down at 5:29 p.m. in New Canaan, Connecticut, touching down near Weed Street and Marshall Ridge Road, wielding a path of 100 yards wide.
"It was very loud, very dark -- lots of thunder, lightning, and you could hear the tree branches falling," said 22-year-old Samantha Ashley, who took refuge in the family's basement with her mother before emerging to find the trail of destruction outside. At its peak, the storm left 1,000 Eversource customers without power.
Earlier, NWS confirmed an EF0 twister with max winds of 85 mph hit Long Island's Ronkonkoma, weaving a quarter-mile-long, 600-foot-wide path of destruction between 11:20 p.m. and 11:22 p.m. Multiple homes in the area of Iroquois and Seneca streets along Mohican Avenue sustained damage and trees had visibly sheared off tops, officials said. Some also fell on cars. It was the first tornado to ever hit Long Island in October, according to records dating to 1953.
Ronkonkoma homeowners Tim Grant and Nidia Isaac said they watched things flying through the air, and by the end, the entire street looked like a war zone, with trees uprooted and smashed onto cars and houses.
Chopper 4 showed major damage in Chappaqua earlier in the day, with fences seemingly blown apart and multiple trees totally uprooted, spewing debris over lawns. Trees were also reported down in Rockland County, while flooding rains seemed to be the bigger issue in New Jersey.
The highest rain totals were seen in Westchester, though; Mount Kisco and Armonk each saw at least 4 inches of water. Parts of Fairfield County in Connecticut saw nearly that much, while a widespread 2 inches were seen in at least three counties in New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.
Even without torrential rain, lightning streaks tore across the sky, illuminating the World Trade Center in the city, dramatic footage showed. It was also an issue in Yaphank, about 12 miles from Ronkonkoma, where a bolt caused a fire at a family's home. The mother, father and two sons inside made it out safely; several family birds, though, were lost in the fire.
Lightning also hit a house in Ramsey, New Jersey. Officials say a man holding an electric guitar was shocked and most electronics were damaged. The condition of the man wasn't immediately known Wednesday afternoon.
By midnight, the rain had pushed out of the five boroughs, and then around 2 a.m. it had completed its assault on Long Island.
The heat, however, is here to stay for a few more days. Sunshine made a comeback Wednesday with temperatures reaching the upper 70s, then will shoot back into the low 80s on Thursday, Storm Team 4 says.
A brief cooldown will come Friday and Saturday with temps in the 60s, but then the mercury is expected to soar back into the upper 70s and low 80s and stay that way through the end of next week.