NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – High winds and rain wreaked havoc all across the Tri-State Area Tuesday, leaving downed trees and power outages in their path.
Various thunderstorm watches and warnings along with flash flooding watches and warnings remained in place across the area heading into early Wednesday morning.
Rainfall was heavy at times during the evening hours. Central Park saw 1.5 inches while LaGuardia Airport saw 1.62 inches, and Danbury, Conn. recorded 1.53 inches of precipitation.
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Thousands of outages have been reported around the area, mostly in Connecticut, on Long Island and in Morris, Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey.
A wind advisory was also in effect for parts of New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and parts of Connecticut until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
IN NEW YORK CITY
Flash flooding closed part of the FDR Drive, which became a river in several spots, including at 125th Street, where northbound traffic came to a standstill at spots where the southbound was under water.
There were several cars that tried to make it through before police arrived to shut down the road. One man said his engine cut off and his car started floating.
“Lot of water, some cars pass, some cars didn’t pass. When I pass, I get stuck in water,” he told CBS 2′ Derricke Dennis.
A city crew arrived to work on pumping the water off the highway, to try to get at least one lane open, but it was slow going with drivers being forced to sit and wait.
Then there was the issue of falling trees all over the place.
A large tree came down between the Williamsbridge and Botanical Garden train stations in the Bronx, knocking out Metro-North service for a period of time.
On Staten Island, a tree was toppled at Gordon and Hudson streets in Stapleton, striking a utility pole and bringing down power lines. There were also reports of severe road flooding along Hylan Boulevard and Rose Avenue.
In Queens, three large trees came down at 35th Street, north of Astoria Boulevard. There were two close calls in Whitestone, where large trees came down on 6th Avenue. There was minimal to no damage in both incidents and no injuries were reported, police said.
In Glendale, the driving rain made it slow going. A hard torrential downpour drenched everything and everyone in its path.
Joris Kalanis was driving home from the Bronx and said he found it quite the challenge.
“It was not like regular rain…it was gusts of it. Then it was dry. No matter how fast the wipers would work, it would just blind you,” Kalanis told CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey.
IN NEW JERSEY
In Oakland, a tree branch took out power lines, but the power was back on Tuesday night, thanks to fast work from Orange and Rockland utilities, who had their hands full.
The storm also hit hard in West Orange. Heavy rain and whipping winds slammed the area and triggered runoff on the roads that caused flooding in some areas.
Earlier, gusts brought a tree down right onto a house in Ridgewood. Limbs broken by the wind and rain came down on rooftops and littered sidewalks around Queens. In some areas, wind gusts hit 50 mph.
A 90-foot oak tree came crashing down on top of a house in Ridgewood early Tuesday morning, rattling the home owners and everyone else in the neighborhood.
“I heard rumbling and I thought it was thunder,” homeowner Blaze Stanek told 1010 WINS. “Some branches came stabbing through the ceiling in a couple of different places.”
“We were all sleeping, then at around 6:30, we heard this huge cracking sound…jumped out of bed and of course it was still dark, you couldn’t see anything, but you know something happened,” Brook Sigler told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.
The 100-year-old tree went through the ceiling of a home on Hillcrest Road, puncturing holes in the roof. It also smashed the windshield of the SUV in the driveway.
Thankfully, the couple and their children were not hurt, but it took crews hours to clean up the mess.
Meanwhile, in North Plainfield, the rain was minimal, but the wind was enough to blow over a 40-foot tree. A mother, father and child were inside a home the tree came down on, but there were no injuries.
While the home only suffered slight damage, the incident did fray the nerves of neighbors.
“It’s very, very frightening to see any trees upon a house,” one neighbor told CBS 2′s Dick Brennan.