SHIRLEY, N.Y. - The Tornado Warning notification so many people on Long Island received on Saturday afternoon was the only heads-up Denise Flores of Shirley was given.
"Four minutes from when I got the notification to take cover," she said. "The impact hit my house so hard it knocked me down."
When Denise came up from the basement, she saw sheared-off shingles, chunks of her neighbor's roof, and other debris scattered everywhere.
"My entire house shifted," she said. "All the walls are fractured inside."
Denise's neighbor Spencer described it as a scene from a movie.
"We started seeing hail, looked out the window, saw the roof of the house come off," he said. "We started seeing rotation."
The tornado in Shirley was one of at least four that touched down on Long Island. The National Weather Service also confirmed tornadoes in Woodmere, East Islip, and Remsenburg.
In Suffolk County, winds flipped planes over at Brookhaven Calabro Airport, ripped down the front facade of a Chipotle restaurant, and took down power lines and branches.
In Nassau County, a massive tree toppled onto a home in Levittown.
Ross Dickman, a National Weather Service meteorologist in charge, called these highly unusual weather events for this time of year.
"In this situation, these were indeed signatures of kind of a narrow path, isolated in nature and convergent along that path," he said.
Three of the four tornadoes were rated EF-0 with winds between 65 mph and 85 mph, according to the National Weather Service. But the one that struck Shirley was rated EF-1 with wind speeds of 110 mph.
Denise hopes what happened to her home will be a lesson for others to take warnings seriously.
"I don't feel lucky," she said. "I feel blessed."
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