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Westchester, Rockland Counties Rocked By Storm; Tornadoes Confirmed In Stony Point And New Castle

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Tri-State residents are cleaning up after a powerful storm took down trees and knocked out power to people across the area on Tuesday night.

Houses sat dark as crews worked diligently to fix the power lines after storms ripped through Westchester County. Homeowners found themselves surrounded by destroyed trees and downed wires.

An EF1 tornado touched down at Harriman State Park in Stony Point, the National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday. It packed winds of 100 mph. Another tornado was also confirmed in New Castle, with sustained winds of up to 110 mph.

Rockland, Fairfield and northern Westchester counties were hit the hardest by the storms.

The National Weather Service also said a rare EF0 tornado touched down in Ronkonkoma, with maximum wind speeds of 85 mph.

Heavy rain hindered the ride home for many Tuesday. On the Saw Mill River Parkway, trees covered the roadway between Mount Kisco and Chappaqua.

10-2 Tornadoes Confirmed
Tornadoes were confirmed to touch down in Ronkonkoma, New Castle, Stony Point, and New Canaan. (credit: CBS2)

"Got chainsaws and gas. We're trying to get in there," one man said in nearby Milwood.

"Everybody seems to be stuck, all the local streets are closed at this point," said Milwood resident Paul Platain. "My train was stuck. We took an Uber back to the train station, and now we have this. I guess it'll be a couple hours, at least." 

The intersection of Route 120 and Route 100 was blocked off, causing a backup while utility crews dealt with fallen wires.

"I haven't heard anything. I don't know what the damage is. All I know is I've tried about six different ways to get down that street and there is no answers," Henry Zymeck, of Milwood, said. "May have to leave the car here and walk."

Some drivers said they spent hours searching for a way home.

Watch: National Weather Service Confirms Ronkonkoma Tornado 

"I've heard that it's a mess everywhere," said Zymeck.

Some of the worst damage was in Chappaqua, where a massive tree fell onto a home on Quaker Lane, shutting down the street.

"It's scary," Rebecca Harmon said on nearby Gedney Way. "Probably at least four or five huge 100-year-old trees that are completely ripped up at the roots and the back." 

Isla Gib and her father walked around the neighborhood Wednesday taking in the damage.

"Our power just went completely out, and we looked outside, and our power line had just been hit by like three trees. So it's like completely on the ground at the moment," she said. "We thought that we had one of the worst, but seeing these things around us."

Power lines, tree houses and mailboxes toppled into front lawns.

"It was nasty," said Samantha Mortlock, who grew up in Kansas and is no stranger to storms. "When I was a kid, I witnessed a tornado in the distance one time, and that was pretty frightening. But this was definitely worse."

Many said the storm caught them by surprise.

"We really weren't ready for this storm. It kind of came in quick and fierce," New Castle building inspector Tom Depole said. "It seems to be like in a wave, in one direct area. We have a lot of flooding throughout the town from rain damage, but the trees and wind damage seem to be a swath that cut through."

Depole was out Wednesday issuing building permits so homeowners could get insurance companies and contractors out to rebuild and restore. A bright spot in the mess: no injuries were reported in any of the storms.


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