MANALAPAN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – As some parts of our area experienced severe weather, the first line of storms brought down plenty of trees and drenched parts of the tri-state area.

In New Jersey, thousands were without power.

In New Jersey, Jersey Central Power & Light reported more than 15,000 people without power at 12 a.m. Sunday. Connecticut Light & Power reported around 2,000 outages, mainly in Norwalk.

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin was in Manalapan, N.J., Saturday night where the headlights from cars were the only source of light in the mall parking lot.

“No air conditioning, no lights, no refrigerator. Just went out and bought two bags of ice. Going to want to go into a cooler so we don’t have to spoil everything,” Manalapan resident Larry Meltzer said.

The power went out Saturday evening in the middle of the storm and more than a dozen large, chain stores lost several hours worth of revenue, Carlin reported.  However, employees still made their money by staying late to check every inch of the stores.

“It’s been a few hours so I don’t know what they’re doing,” store worker Joe Diliberti said. “Not much fun for retail.”

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Workers grabbed flashlights and helped herd people out of the mall.

“We needed to check the whole store out for people and if there were people, we needed to move them out,” another employee, Mike Widmer, said.

Over in Whitestone, Queens, the damage was much more severe.

One family was in the home when the storm rolled through, causing a tree to crash into their home, busting a window.

The homeowner told CBS 2 it seemed a lot more violent than just a thunderstorm.

“It felt like a tornado, in a minute and it was gone,” Judy Geva told CBS 2.

A tree smashed into Geva’s car parked along the street.

“A wind came by and turned our car into a convertible,” Geva said. “I heard just a strong wind, my husband heard something- boom!  So I ran out and said, ‘We don’t have a car anymore!’”

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