Bridgeport, CT Smashed by Possible Tornado Wednesday

On Wednesday,  The New York Metropolitan Area rocked by a powerful storm that may have produced a tornado in Bridgeport,CT. In Bridgeport buildings  collapsed  and other had structural damages. From CBS 2 News/WCBS-TV/HDTV:

Connecticut’s biggest city was under a state of emergency on Thursday after reports of building collapses and structural damage had parts of town blocked off.

In all, 23 people were injured and nine buildings were heavily damaged.

The whine of the chainsaw was the soundtrack of a summer night in Bridgeport.

A fast-moving storm turned it into a battered city of trees — toppled onto homes and blown over in city parks. There were lots of broken windows on buildings and on cars.

At 5:30 p.m. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch declared a state of emergency and ordered all residents to stay home until further notice as city officials worked on wrapping their arms around the damage, which was in pockets all around the city.

More than 57,000 United Illuminating customers were initially without power after the storm, which blew 78 mph wind gusts when it struck about 2:25 p.m. and pushed quickly through the town. That number was down to about 24,000 as of 10 p.m.

“Destruction … destruction. I’ve never seen that. I’ve been living in the city of Bridgeport all my life and I’ve never seen nothing like this before in my life,” one resident said.

Another resident shot a video as the afternoon storm intensified. Many are convinced the violent burst of white blowing across the screen was a small tornado. The National Weather Service will make the final determination in the coming days.

“Actually, I thought the house was gonna cave in because all of a sudden the house just shake!” resident Clay Collier said.

Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell was expected to be in Bridgeport on Thursday night. Thousands of residents were expected to spend the night without power, without air conditioning, as power crews rushed to get everyone back up and running.

In New York state Queens and Nassau Counties were hit hard:

The extensive damage stretched across the tri-state. In Douglaston, Queens the vicious storms cut a path of destruction, bringing down countless massive trees. And things got worse as you headed farther east.

The remnants of the storm that caught many by surprise were hard to miss: a virtual jungle plunked straight onto the pavement of Old Mill Road. Already exhausted work crews were barely beginning to make headway. Some 20,000 were without power on Long Island Thursday night.

“Forty-eight years I lived in Great Neck, never seen anything like this before,” resident Gary George said.

“My top floor is destroyed,” one woman said.

Her kids were downstairs and her husband was racing in through the front door.

“I feel very lucky ’cause my husband came out of his car and a tree fell on his car,” she said.

Trees were uprooted and sideways. CBS 2 HD saw one that crushed a car.

There was an incredible sight in the front of the house in Levittown owned by Doris and Ray Gillott for more than half a century. It was demolished.

“The windows don’t rattle like that. And then a couple of things creaked and obviously it was the roots of this huge tree in the back, coming out of the ground,” Doris Gillott said.

“She was calling me to get up and, fortunately, I got up just in time to avoid getting hit,” Ray Gillott added.

WCBS-TV/HDTV “CBS 2 News”.

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