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Thousands Across Tri-State In Dark After High Winds Down Trees, Power Lines

Storm Damage in Huntington, NY on Jan. 31, 2013. (credit: Mike Xirinachs/WCBS 880)

Storm Damage in Huntington, NY on Jan. 31, 2013. (credit: Mike Xirinachs/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Wicked winds from a cold front that battered parts of the Tri-State area overnight downed trees and power lines and left thousands of homes and businesses without electricity on Thursday.

A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. for parts of New Jersey, New York City, Nassau County and parts of Connecticut. That means sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph or gusts of 46 to 57 mph through the afternoon hours.

Crews have been working to restore power outages across the region to thousands of customers in the dark.

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The heavy winds also caused mass transit delays during the morning rush.

Service on the Long Island Rail Road was suspended in both directions on the Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches for several hours Thursday because a broken LIPA utility pole was leaning on electrical lines.

Service was restored between Mineola and Hicksville on both branches shortly after 3:30 p.m.

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Metro-North trains on the New Haven Line were also delayed by 30 minutes Thursday morning because of the storm.

One of the hardest hit areas was in Huntington where strong winds brought down a huge tree branch at the home of the Albetti family, crushing three cars in their driveway and damaging their home.

Joe Albetti said he’s just happy no one was hurt.

At the height of the storm, Clifton, N.J. resident Jackie Torriello said it sounded like her home was being sucked into a wind tunnel.

“The wind was terrible last night,” Torriello said.

A giant oak tree toppled onto her neighbor’s home on Glen Oaks Court — a block that lost six oak trees during Superstorm Sandy.

A tree on a house in Clifton, N.J. (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

A tree on a house in Clifton, N.J. (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

“It sounded like somebody was banging on the house when it came,” one man said. “It ripped all my power out of the side of the house.”

No one was injured.

A home in Lebanon, Conn. was heavily damaged by fire after a tree fell onto it during high winds. One resident home at the time was able to escape with his two dogs and two cats. Investigators are trying to determine if the fallen tree caused the fire.

Fairfield officials closed Fairfield Ludlowe High School for the day after wind damaged part of the roof. Authorities said strong gusts also blew shingles and tar paper off the roof of an apartment building in Derby and caused water to enter the building.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)