Reporting Steve Sandberg
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The wicked weather over the weekend that brought strong winds and heavy rain left behind a major mess for residents of the Tri-State Area Monday.
The mighty storm toppled, splintered and uprooted trees knocking down power lines, blocking roads and damaging cars and homes across Westchester County.
One woman returned to her Hamilton Road home in New Castle to find the roof cracked and white picket fence destroyed by a giant arbor.
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A large maple tree leaning on a tall house in Pleasantville served as a powerful reminder of just what Mother Nature can do. And the National Weather Service came to town to make the official confirmation: the damage was caused a microburst.
“It’s been wild in Westchester, so I could believe it,” resident Michael Rinaldi told CBS 2′s Jay Dow.
As a crew took down the tree on Bedford Road limb by limb, a high-powered grinder worked overtime. The tree crashed through two of the building’s three apartments, including a second story bedroom window. Fortunately, no one was home.
“It’s not a good feeling. Unfortunately, I thought it was just a small couple of branches, or just a small tree. Ya know, a chain saw and a couple of friends to take it out. But I got here and it’s a lot bigger than I thought,” property owner Michael Matra said.
Debbie and Michael Rinaldi live on the top floor.
“We had to stay at a friend’s house last night,” Debbie Rinaldi said.
Hugh Lennon of neighboring Thornwood experienced another close call. Part of a tall tree on his property fell away from his house and narrowly missed his neighbor’s home.
“I was in the house and the wind was blowing and we were looking, and my wife commented that we have a room in the back. We better get out of there because the leaves were blowing upward,” Lennon said.
On Monday, Lennon and his neighbors were breathing a sigh of relief.
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Crews worked all day Sunday in Queens after one tree fell onto a Long Island Rail Road track just 500 feet from the Laurelton Station.
Police in Jackson, N.J. say drivers were trapped in stalled cars as flood waters rose on several roads as a string of nasty thunderstorms moved over the area.
In Long Branch, authorities tried to close roads but tell the Asbury Park Press that the plastic barricades they set up floated away.
The Six Flags amusement park in Jackson Township had to close early Sunday night because of heavy rain and lightning.
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