BUSINESSMAN Declan Ganley has revealed how he had a lucky escape after a freak weather event caused trees to fall on a US restaurant where he had been eating just seconds earlier.
Mr Ganley was sitting in the patio area of the waterfront Merchants River House, in Battery Park, New York, on Saturday afternoon when he spotted a wall of rain moving across the Hudson.
"A blanket of rain and hail blanked out the New Jersey side and progressed slowly across the Hudson in a wall," he said.
Mr Ganley and a work colleague dashed indoors at the restaurant along with other diners when it reached around 80 metres away.
"Just as we got in with other people the thing hit. It sounded like a train hitting," the entrepreneur and political activist said. "Behind that wall (rain) there was some very severe rotation going on. It dumped a huge amount of water and ripped everything up.
"Seven trees came down where we had been sitting 30 seconds earlier. It was a very bizarre thing. It was very concentrated."
ABC Manhattan television channel also reported on the freak weather event akin to a twister.
The station revealed no-one had been seriously injured in the event. Emergency services responded and workers from Battery Park Conservatory swiftly moved in with chainsaws to remove the felled trees.
Mr Ganley is reported to be considering running in the European elections this summer, contesting a seat in the North West constituency where he missed out on a seat in the 2009 elections.