News

Post Storm Clean Up Continues In Tri-State

Catherina Villafuera looks on at a neighbor's tree that was toppled by Friday's storms. (credit: CBS 2)

Catherina Villafuera looks on at a neighbor’s tree that was toppled by Friday’s storms. (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It will be another weekend of cleanup throughout the Tri-State Area, following a second round of heavy rain. As CBS 2HD’s Rob Morrison reports, crews went back to work Saturday to chop up trees and clear away debris and downed power lines.

Mother Nature’s isolated fury came during an early morning wake-up call. “I saw a huge flash of lightning and I heard a bang,” said Rosemary Hogan.

When she came outside her Hollis home, she was greeted by a tall timber that took out a telephone pole, powerlines, and a minivan.

“I did a blink. I said ‘No this is not my car’,” said storm victim Michael Jackson. But after he checked the license plates, he was singing the blues.

“I was shocked. Unbelief. I seen dollar signs coming out of my pocket.”

Rain kept coming out of the sky early Friday morning, turning highways into moving parking lots and one Levittown Road into a permanent bus stop, which led to the rescue of two dozen students.

“We evacuated the students off the bus, transported to another bus, everyone is safe, no one is injured,” said Chief Charlie Giudice of the Levittown Fire Department.

Catherina Villafuera said she felt lucky to be alive, after a neighbor’s tree fell onto her in the back of her East Harlem apartment building. “I stumbled forward as I felt another branch hit my back. Then it all came down.”

The mother of two suffered a head injury and bruises to her back but she knows it could have been so much worse. “Oh my God. I’m lucky, I’m lucky,” she said.

They got lucky in Sullivan county too where the swollen river invaded backyards and crept into the Livingston Manor downtown. “It stopped just in time before the actual storefronts got actual water in their business.  Lots of water in the basements,” said Capt. Dan Taggert of Livingston Manor Fire Department.

The water was gone, and left behind in Queens however were the remnants of a close call and good fortune. “This is a horror, this is a horror. Thank God nobody was in the car over there,” Hogan said.

In a New Jersey flood zone, 34 homes were getting a raise. Friday Senator Frank Lautenberg announced a $5.9 million grant that will elevate the house foundations above the flood stage standard.