NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Severe weather swept through the Tri-State area on Sunday, injuring two people, causing damage and throwing a major wrench in Labor Day weekend happenings.
In the Bronx, two people were injured following a lightning strike at Orchard Beach on Pelham Bay.
The lightning struck near the handball court where a father and his son were standing, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.
It’s unclear if they were hit directly, but witnesses told Stern the father had trouble walking with numbness on one side of his body.
Both were described as alert as first responders took them to Jacobi Medical Center, Stern reported.
The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning at around 4:20 p.m. for Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau County, Westchester County, Putnam County and parts of northern New Jersey through 6:15 p.m.
A flash flood warning was in effect through 6:23 p.m. for Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, southern Nassau County, and parts of northern New Jersey.
An areal flood advisory was in effect through 6:45 p.m. for Fairfield and New Haven in Connecticut, Northwestern Burlington in New Jersey, Suffolk County, Nassau County, and Westchester County.
An areal flood advisory generally means the same as the more commonly used “Flood Watch” designation, meaning there is potential for flooding over a large area.
The severe weather caused an evacuation and cancellation of the Electric Zoo music festival on Randall’s Island late Sunday afternoon.
Festival organizers cited “extreme weather conditions” as the reason behind the sudden cancellation, 1010 WINS reported.
“Electric Zoo has made the decision to shut down the festival for the remainder of the day. We apologize to our fans, but ultimately our main concern is for the safety and security of all attendees, artists and staff,” the festival said in a statement.
The cancellation came on the three-day electronic music fest’s final day. It’s the second time in two years the event has been canceled midstream. Last year, the third day was called off after two people died of drug overdoses.
But Electric Zoo attendees weren’t the only ones who had their plans dashed by the severe weather.
The storm came in a rush with thunder and torrential rain. It moved through almost as quickly as the holiday weekend flew by for many, CBS 2’s Don Champion reported.
In Manhattan, thunder and lightning warned before the rain began. It came down in sheets, driven by strong winds, soaking the city.
In Washington Heights, there was so much water the 157th Street subway station flooded. Parts of Morningside Heights flooded as well.
The severe weather also forced a temporary suspension of the US Open tennis tournament being held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.
The courts turned into ponds and matches were suspended as players and spectators ran for cover.
On its website, the US Open said while the day session was cut short, it expected the evening session to begin as scheduled.
“The current forecast calls for rain into the early evening. As such, the day session has concluded, but the US Open invites patrons to stay on the grounds to enjoy the tennis on the outer courts if play resumes. Arthur Ashe Stadium is scheduled to open at 6:30 p.m. for night session ticket holders.”
On Long Island, the storm quickly moved over Long Beach. Winds whipped up waves on the water and sent beachgoers who were enjoying the last weekend of the summer scrambling.
“I know that’s sad, but what are you going to do but maybe tomorrow it will still be nice — sneak in another day,” said Long Beach resident Paula Freed.
Meanwhile in Newark, the rains overwhelmed the drainage systems, causing manholes to back up and slowing down drivers who dared to brave the flooded streets, Champion reported.
In North Arlington, trees came down, crashing into a car and blocking streets. In East Orange, a tree fell onto a van, smashing it.
The storm also tore down a number of trees and power lines, shutting off electricity for thousands in East Orange, CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported.
On Roosevelt Avenue, a tree toppled onto a house, but didn’t break through due to decades-old brick construction.
Around the corner, Dwight Gill lost power to his home just as he was hosting a Labor Day barbecue with friends and family.
“The lines fell in the water, and they were still hot so it created a fire right behind the garage there,” he said.
As a precaution, the fire department closed down several streets, Kozar reported.
PSE&G said it expected to have power restored to everyone affected within a few hours.
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