Last night, New York City's Central Park incured the wrath of a storm more powerful than anything experienced over the last 30 years.

It was so bad that some people thought a string of tornadoes might have touched down. Wind gusts over 70 mph were recorded and over three-quarters of an inch of rain covered the area. Meteorologists said Central Park essentially became "ground zero" for a storm that quickly formed over New Jersey and moved eastward.

Between 9:55 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., over 100 trees were felled -- with hundreds more damaged. “The damage was so severe and so widespread that we are simultaneously cleaning up and assessing the damage and trying to cordon off areas so that people aren’t hit by falling limbs,” the city parks commissioner told the New York Times.

Sadly, some of the trees toppled were well over 100 years old. "If you love trees, as we do, it’s emotionally upsetting," said one New Yorker. "You have personal relationships with certain trees, and now they are gone.”

Still, park officials were putting a positive spin on the rare event -- saying that such uprooting paves the way for a new generation of trees to become a part of the landscape. Said Neil Calvanese, vice president for operations at the Central Park Conservancy, "A park is always evolving, that’s the nature of the park."

via NY Times