Yesterday afternoon, unbeknownst to any of us in the company, a tornado passed within a few hundred yards of our office building. It passed by the Tappan Zee Bridge, which is visible from our windows, and passed through Sleepy Hollow, Pleasantville and Hawthorne. This morning on the Sawmill River Parkway, traffic slowed to a crawl as motorists gawked at the destruction the storm left in its wake. In a swath a few hundred yards wide, every single treetop had been snapped off like a twig about twenty feet from the ground. Several buildings had lost their roofs. It must have taken all night for road crews to clear the parkway.
We missed the mess on the Sawmill last night because I had to pick up Mrs Vache Folle at the White Plains train station. The tracks were blocked by fallen trees and detritus between White Plains North and Chappaqua. At the time, I wondered whether nobody in Metro North knew how to use a chain saw, but now I realize the magnitude of the blockage probably required many hours of work to clear. We took the Bronx River Parkway to Route 22 to get to I-684, but some cops had closed the road by the reservoir (it was probably blocked) so that we had to crawl through a residential district in Harrison until we found 684 further north. We were still blissfully unaware of the tornado until we got home when the mother-in-law called to check up on us.
I did not realize that tornados occurred in New York at all. They were frequent events where I grew up in Georgia, but I figured I had put them behind me. Now folks are telling me to expect a hurricane! What’s next? Earthquakes? Tsunamis? Africanized bees? Fire ants? Kudzu? Cane toads? Walking catfish? Snakeheads? Locusts? Famine? Pestilence? Zombies?