Tornado Hits Staten Island

NEW YORK - A rare tornado hit the New York borough of Staten Island yesterday, uprooting trees and disrupting gas and electrical service, authorities said. Two injuries were reported.

``It's pretty scary. It's scary especially to look outside and see everything like that,'' said Dawn Zimmer, 27.

Her home was left standing, but its aluminum siding was slashed and trees were uprooted. ``Everything's thrown all over,'' she said.

Paul Egeler Sr. said he'd never seen anything like it in his 80 years on Staten Island, across New York Harbor from Manhattan and Brooklyn. He said it lasted five to 10 minutes.

It was the first tornado to hit any part of the city since Oct. 5, 1985, when a tornado hit the borough of Queens, causing negligible damage, said Anthony Gigi of the National Weather Service. No major tornadoes have struck New York this century.

Police said it affected only a three- or four-block area.

Two gas lines were pulled out when trees were uprooted, said Bob Loftus, a spokesman for Brooklyn Union Gas. The utility shut down service along one block to stop leaks, affecting about 50 homes.