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National Weather Service: Tornado touched down in Suffolk County during overnight storms

EF-0 tornado brings down power lines, trees across Suffolk County
EF-0 tornado brings down power lines, trees across Suffolk County 02:19

WEST ISLIP, N.Y. -- The National Weather Service says an EF-0 tornado touched down on Long Island early Monday during a violent thunderstorm that brought down power lines and hundreds of trees.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports, the treacherous weather first burst on a West Islip neighborhood before traveling across Suffolk County.

"Our bedroom is right there, and at 10:30, we heard this roaring sound. It sounded like a jet engine or a train going by for about 15 seconds, then an explosion," West Islip homeowner Rick Jacoby said.

Rick and Regina Jacoby and their neighbors were plunged into darkness as power lines were toppled in a microburst from the sky.

"The wires are live. That's the biggest concern. Everything ripped off from the house," Regina Jacoby said.

From West Islip to Mattituck, violent thunderstorms barreled through Suffolk County just before midnight.

"Like a train was coming through, then all debris started hitting my window," one person said.

"Started out with a pitter-patter, then just whoosh," another person said.

"And the lightning and the thunder," another person said.

Lawns were littered with branches Monday.

"National Weather Service was here on scene. They did a helicopter flyover and some drone footage ... as well as boots-on-the-ground assessment and a lot of pictures and video documentation of damages out here in Mattituck," Southold Town Highway Superintendent Dan Goodwin said.

Residents learned it was an isolated tornado on the North Fork, category EF-0. 

"I've lived here 72 years in this house. I've been though a lot of hurricanes. I don't want to go through something like this again," Mattituck homeowner Ron Massaferro said.

Sheared tree tops and debris were scattered in a 1.5-mile long path, 1,000 feet wide, stopping just short of the high school and Main Street.

The tiny downtown escaped with no damage, but homeowners just blocks away were not so lucky.

"I heard this tremendous crash, came out," Mattituck homeowner Nancy Burt said.

Burt ran out her front door to see a massive oak had careened through her roof, unaware a heavy limb had plunged through her ceiling near where she lay sleeping.

"My husband passed away, like, four months ago, and I swear I got this [pinch to] get up, so I just feel that it's like a sign, he's still watching," Burt said.

Burt says she's emotional and grateful no one was injured.

There are detours and road closures in the area as tree and debris cleanup from the frightening storm continues.

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