The Tornado of August 10

The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-0 tornado traveled down the north coast of The Peconic Bathtub late Wednesday afternoon, knocking down trees and causing havoc along the Mattituck end of New Suffolk Avenue between New Suffolk Avenue and the Main Road.

EF-0 is the lowest rating on the Enhanced Fujita tornado scale, and denotes a tornado with winds between 65 and 85 miles per hour.

The Peconic Bathtub’s kayak correspondent, George Cork Maul, whose aeire is perched not far from the edge of New Suffolk, has begun to develop a reputation as “the man who sees waterspouts,” after reporting his waterspout sightings to The Suffolk Times several years back. On Wednesday, he saw the telltales of cyclonic action over The Peconic Bathtub once again.

He reports that the wind was blowing hard out of the east most of the day Wednesday, but around 4:30 in the afternoon, he felt a heavy jolt of air hit his house with a boom, and looked out the window to see the wind was blowing just as strong, but out of the west, while a dark thundercloud headed east through the North Race of Robins Island with the telltale rotating column of air below it.

He then ventured down to the edge of The Peconic Bathtub to make this video at the New Suffolk Beach, looking east toward Jessups Neck and North Sea.

At about the same time, Paul Nadel, who lives on Broadwaters Cove in Cutchogue, reported that he heard the wind suddenly roar, and saw rain coming horizontally at his house.

Within seconds, the whirlwind stopped, but he found a huge tree limb down near the water, and his kayak had been blown about 50 feet from where it had laid at the water’s edge.

When we asked if we could quote him for this story, he shrugged his shoulders.

“It’s not a big story,” he said. “It lasted about a second.”

Here’s hoping this will be the first and last tornado to hit The Peconic Bathtub this year.


Beth Young

Beth Young built her first boat out of driftwood tied together with phragmites behind her family’s apartment above the old Mill Creek Inn in Southold. Nowadays, she spends most of her time kayaking, learning about shellfish, writing newspaper stories, trying to sail a Sunfish, and watching the way the bay changes from day to day. You can send her a message at

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