Powerful Storms Knock Down Trees, Flood Roads Across Tri-State Area

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Residents will be cleaning up across the Tri-State Monday after a powerful storm slammed the area overnight, downing trees and power lines and flooding roads.

Forecasters say the heavy downpours that soaked the region on Sunday are ending Monday. However, strong winds will persist through part of the day.

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In New York, a tree branch fell onto a school bus in Rego Park, Queens Monday morning. Eleven people, including eight children, were treated for minor injuries.

The rush hour got off to a rocky start as service on Metro-North’s Danbury Branch was suspended due to a mudslide and signal power problems.

Part of the Long Island Rail Road’s Ronkonkoma Branch was halted because of power lines on the tracks. Video posted on Twitter showed unhappy commuters crowding a station.

The force of the wind knocked a tree into a home on Sherbrooke Drive in Smithtown. Lisa Bacchio, the sister of the homeowner, came to take photos for insurance adjusters.

“I knew it hit the roof, I didn’t know that the tree was uprooted,” she told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “I thought it was going to be an old one snapped in half but it definitely reminded me a little bit of Sandy.”

The gusts also sent trees across Veteran’s Memorial Highway in Happauge just as an SUV was approaching. The driver, with no time to react, hit the tree. Firefighters had to cut it away, but no one was hurt.

There were similar scenes in other Suffolk County towns, including Northport, where a tree snapped right onto an empty minivan and in Ronkonkama, where downed trees also blocked road access.

“It’s horrible outside. There’s flooding all over,” said Susan Destefani in Long Beach.

Arborist Timothy Rey is seeing this kind of damage all along Suffolk County’s North Shore.

“Thank God we don’t have anymore intense winds that we’ve had,” he said. “However, there is a lot of damage throughout Long Island.”

In East Islip, a white BMW had large branches on the hood, but three other cars were spared, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

The storm also caused flooding in parts of Long Island Great South Bay.

“When I woke up, I saw the water coming up across the park and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I hadn’t seen that in years,'” resident Loretta Stump told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.

Stump showed CBS2 her basement where even after high tide, the water was still seeping in.

At nearby marinas, the wind was still gusting Monday morning while boat owners like Bryan Lewis stopped by to check out their property.

“Worse than I thought but not as bad as it could have been,” he said.

Some of the boats took on water from the flooding.

“Usually it never makes it above the dock and there’s a little platform in between boats that you can walk on to get to the boat. I’ve never seen it get above that platform,” a man named Tim said.

In Putnam County, downed trees forced some schools to close in Mahopac.

New York State Electric and Gas said about one-quarter of the customers in Putnam County have no power, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported. The company said high winds are to blame for the trees taking down many electrical poles.

Neighbors said one tree that fell sounded like an explosion.

“We have no power since 11 o’clock last night when the tree fell down,” resident Pietro Buontempo said. “They said to wait a couple of hours and everything will be OK. Nobody came back.”

In New Jersey, there are 14,479 homes and businesses without electricity on Monday. Most are Jersey Central Power and Light customers and are in Morris County.

In Wayne, downed power lines and toppled trees littered the landscape on a section of Mountainside Drive. PSE&G said a tree knocked down for four poles, scattering power lines into the street.

Neighbor Terry Wilczewski slept through it all.

“Scary, scary,” she told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport. “I worry about all the trees when they come down.”

On McClellan Street in Newark, a white minivan drove underneath a flooded overpass and get stuck in the high water. Inside the vehicle was a father and son.

The father managed to get out of the car before a truck came and helped pull the car out to dry land.

In Denville, a large tree toppled and scattered branches on top of the roof of a house.

In Bayonne, a barge crashed into the shoreline at West 21st Street. Emergency management officials say the barge broke loose during the storm.

In Westport, Connecticut, saturated soil couldn’t keep a large tree from coming up at the roots on Hills Point Road, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

A woman named Kathy was out early surveying the damage when a gust of wind toppled the wooden plank from a fence.

“The wind is still blowing. It was a ferocious wind, howling and loud,” she said. “A large piece of a tree broke off and grazed a house.”

About 152,000 Eversource customers were without power in Connecticut, while United Illuminating reported about 5,700 customers in the dark.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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