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Severe Thunderstorms Move Through Tri-State Area Causing Power Outages

Lightning storm in South Norwalk, Conn.

The image was taken by viewers Dave Levinsky in South Norwalk, Conn., on June 9, 2011.

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A line of powerful thunderstorms swept across the Tri-State Area Thursday night and knocked out power to thousands of homes.

Heavy rain and winds helped cause downed trees and power lines in several towns.  Charelle Hanley of Teaneck, N.J., found her car hit by a fallen tree limb, which damaged the roof of the vehicle.

“I don’t know what’s going on. I know these trees are old, but still, you never know,” she told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Still more wires went down in Paterson, N.J., where a tangle of snapped power lines knocked out street lights and electricity to a neighborhood of homes. The Cuautle family said everything suddenly went dark.

“All the lights shut down and my computer shut down, and my little sister got scared,” Lizbeth Cuautle said.

teaneck storm damage Severe Thunderstorms Move Through Tri State Area Causing Power Outages

Tree damage in Teaneck, N.J. (credit: CBS 2)

The worst of the storm, however, hit Paterson’s St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. A transformer blew and forced the facility to resort to backup generators for a time just to keep patients safe.

“We have a very organized system to get patients that need life support, etc., on the generator power and out of here,” Dr. Dee Chowdhury said.

Connecticut Light & Power said thousands of customers had lost power. As of 10:45 p.m. Thursday, CT L&P said more than 98,000 customers were without power.  Con Edison reported that more than 1,000 customers were without power in Westchester County. There were also earlier reports of hail in New Rochelle.

Long Island wasn’t spared either as powerful lightning strikes were caught on tape in Medford and Brookhaven. Wires were also down at the LIRR’s Port Jefferson station and along Route 25 in Selden.

Still, the rain was a welcome site and a chance to cool off for people on the sweltering streets of Manhattan and surrounding areas.  Friday’s high is expected to be 86 degrees and Saturday will be even milder with a high of 74 degrees.

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