After a sweltering heat wave held the Eastern United States in its grip for Bi-Centennial celebrations in early July of 1976 a strong frontal system approached the region on July 7th. Severe thunderstorms developed and ripped across the New York City area. Two tornadoes tore through the heavily populated area of northern New Jersey, skirting the Statue of Liberty where days before tens of thousands of people had gathered for July 4th and near 11 tall ships still at anchor for the Bi-Centennial celebration. One of the tornadoes lasted nearly 8 minutes before it dissolved back into a thunderstorm. Only 3 people were injured, but property damage ranged from over turned tractor-trailers to torn roofs, and entire walls ripped away from buildings. Another funnel cloud was reported near Coney Island.
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