last time I checked, we weren’t in kansas

September 16, 2010 |  Category:   nyc

You may have heard, because like, what? A tornado in Brooklyn? I think it’s still being debated whether or not it was indeed a tornado, but who the hell cares because I’m telling you, shit was scary and the sky was green! We get a fair amount of hurricane and occasional tornado warnings here in NY that never amount to anything, but holy hell! This was some of the craziest weather I have ever seen and I’m not afraid to admit that I was chicken shit scared. The girls and I kept running towards and away from the windows trying to look and hide at the same time, while Mark kept trying to see if there really was a tornado coming towards us.

I didn’t expect to see what I did when I walked outside 20 minutes later after the rain had stopped because our neighborhood in particular is completely trashed. I also didn’t expect to see the soccer players resume their game in the field across the street amidst all the debris just minutes after the rain had stopped. Seriously, where did they suddenly come from?? I spent a good 45 minutes walking around surveying the damage and while the majority of these photos were taken just on our block (see that Wall Of Tree Explosion in the middle of our street?), almost every block that I walked through had at least 1 tree down. Neighbors were out helping remove fallen branches off of blocked doorways and cars (um, why do so many people have chainsaws in our neighborhood?) and sirens were heard for much of the evening. I actually got a little teary-eyed because we lost so many beautiful old trees during this storm.

But you know, this is New York and soon kids and teenagers were mugging for cameras in front of fallen trees and I overheard 1 passerby say to a friend as they were looking up to see a damaged awning on the restaurant at the end of our block, “I always hated that awning anyway”.

Now, stop it with the “a tree falls in Brooklyn” headlines. I mean it.

And yeah, ok. Everyone and their mother has a twitter account.

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  • Annie From Seattle September 17, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Jesus. I thought you were kidding about the sky being green. Holy hell. I’m from tornado country & I’ve never seen anything that weird.

    Glad you are all safe!

  • Lani September 17, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Wow…thanks for sharing all that. I was having a really hard time picturing what a tornado could do to Brooklyn.

  • Lecia September 17, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Wow!!! I’m so glad you all are ok. (And that twitter account is just too much!)

  • Annie September 17, 2010 at 2:54 am

    … I was also very surprise but the amount of people with chainsaws, some how it’s not a tool i expect brooklynites having handy in their tool box.
    aside from the trees, I am glad you are all ok.

  • Michele September 17, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Here in North NJ we dogged it, and you were the first person I thought of. We had a small tornado a couple of years ago and it is really scary. All the trees make such projectiles. And yes, green sky is trouble.
    Glad you are all safe, and I hope the girls weren’t too spooked with it all…..all the wind is good for shaking out the cobwebs? maybe?
    Hope clean goes quickly.

  • Caddy September 17, 2010 at 9:35 am

    WHOA!!! I live in South East Asia so we don’t get tornados. We get typhoons though I think they’re called hurricanes in the west, lot of rain and strong winds.

    Glad to hear you guys are okay. 🙂

  • Lauren September 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Heard it on NPR this morning on my way to work (VA) and thought of you… ok, creepy, but you are the only person I follow in Brooklyn. It was my only association. Glad everyone is safe!

  • bronwyn September 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

    A tornado?!?!?! Wow. I love storms and I love weird weather, but that is too much. I’m sad over those beautiful trees too. But in retrospect, since everyone is OK, it all seems very exciting.

  • Astrid September 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

    that looks seriously nuts… glad you’re all safe.
    by the way soccer players must be a different breed of people. saw some playing through storms in London around November time, telling me it was “just rain” 🙂

  • rifferaff September 17, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Ha. The chainsaw comment made me LOL!

    I never knew the sky turned green during a tornado. That is freaky. Did it sound like a freight train?

  • lindsey September 17, 2010 at 10:21 am

    crazy, huh?!!! my daughter lives in the crown heights area and called last night to ask if we had heard about the tornado. i’m glad you all are safe.


  • Luna September 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

    wow thats so crazy, hope it didn’t cause too much trouble for all

  • Alice September 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Glad your family is ok. Ours is too and we didn’t lose power, yay! It was pretty bad in our neighborhood in Queens. I’ve posted pics here: (hm, not sure if link works).

  • Jenna September 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Alice, yeah your neighborhood looks like mine. I walked around more today and saw a lot of uprooted trees like the ones in your photos. Glad you’re ok. Crazy!

  • Christie September 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I heard this on the news and immediately thought of you guys for some reason. I’m happy to hear that you are all ok. Wow, that must have been quite a scare.

    (Once again, Jenna, your pictures are incredible. Thank you for sharing.)

  • Kyli September 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I was stuck outside at the community garden on Union and couldn’t believe how quickly the storm came on and how much damage happened in what seemed like a few minutes. Walking home seeing the smashed windows and damaged storefronts on 4th Avenue was completely unreal.

  • Cynthia September 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Jenna and family, glad you are ok. I saw an interactive path of the destruction on the news and it really was a long swath of high winds. I’m so glad everyone is ok, but sorry about the loss of the older trees that graced the streets of your neighborhood. Hope the clean up is quick.

  • Jenna September 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    kyli, I was talking to mark, wondering if people were outside in that. DId you get blown around?? Are you ok?

  • elaineganmaclaine September 18, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Whoa! A leafy mess it made! Good to know your family’s alright 🙂

  • janine September 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    The photography is very good, specially i love the fist pic picture of bicycle, seemsyou have good a decent camera.

  • lizz September 26, 2010 at 4:28 am

    greetings from kansas!
    my brother is currently living in brooklyn and he was so entertained by the chaos and panic this storm caused (i believe he jokingly used the phrase “amateur hour”). to him it was nothing, just a few trees down. when you grow up with tornadoes you forget that they’re quite scary to the uninitiated. I personally love tornadoes, the way the sky goes from black to that sinister green and then the sun is back out before you’re even out of the basement. that green sky is the best part. that’s how you know things have gone from ‘storm’ to ‘STORM!’. glad everyone is okay. 🙂