Tornado that hit Westchester classified as F1 and F2

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Officials in Westchester are assessing the damage Thursday caused by a tornado that plowed through parts of the county.

National Weather Service official Jeff Tongue was in the county to confirm that it was a tornado that touched down around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. Tongue says the tornado started out as an F1 with speeds from 100 ? 110 mph from the Hudson River near Tarrytown and intensified as it passed east from Sleepy Hollow to Mount Pleasant reaching the F2 category with speed from 115 ? 160 mph. Tongue says the twister slowed back down to an F1 when it hit the more populated areas and as it left the state line toward Connecticut.

The Hawthorne area of Mount Pleasant was hit hardest by the storm, which ripped off a side of the California Closets warehouse. A Quality Inn hotel also suffered roof damage. Roads were closed due to downed trees and power lines. Cleanup crews are out in full force trying to clear the damage. Cars were flipped over from the intensity of the winds. There were no serious injuries reported as a result of the tornado. Con Edison is working to restore power to the remaining 1,500 customers still affected.

County Executive Andy Spano says Valhalla was hit harder than originally thought. Most of the power outages occurring Thursday are concentrated in that area. Residents and road crews are clearing the debris off the streets. Sleepy Hollow also bore a brunt of the storm. St. Theresa?s Church had its windows blown out and siding was ripped off the house next door to the church. Residents describe a big black cloud accompanied by lightning that came barreling down Beekman Avenue, taking down trees in its path. Spano says the county was lucky there wasn?t more damage and injuries.

Related Information: Video of the aftermath of the tornado in Sleepy Hollow Video of the damage sustained in Valhalla Video of the entire press conference about the tornado

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