NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Strong winds with gusts of up to 60 mph downed trees and power lines across the Tri-State Area early Thursday.
A high wind warning was in effect through the early afternoon for most of the Tri-State area. A wind advisory remained in effect until 7 p.m.
Gusts topped off at 61 mph at Orient Point, 58 mph in Syosset and Seaside Heights, 55 mph in White Plains, 54 at LaGuardia Airport, and 47 at Central Park, CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn reported.
As late as 5 p.m., strong winds persisted. The wind was blamed for major delays for arriving flights at area airports – 2 hours and 30 minutes at LaGuardia Airport, 2 hours and 22 minutes at Newark Liberty International Airport, and 1 hour and 28 minutes at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Meanwhile, major damage was seen throughout the area, as CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
In Little Neck, Queens a massive tree snapped like a twig in Little Neck, falling across a property and onto Margie Demetriou’s home.
“It sounded like when you’re standing on the platform of a train, and the train is just rushing by, that’s exactly how it sounded,” Demetriou said. “Then the shaking of the house, then I heard glass all over the place because it came right through the dining room window.”
Demetriou said she has complained to the city about the tree before. She is grateful that no one was hurt, or worse, killed.
“I guess somebody up there loves me,” she said.
In North Riverdale, the Bronx, at West 260th Street and Delafield Avenue, a fallen tree knocked out the back window of a car. Neighbor Rick Hess found it hard even to stand outside with the wind whipping, and had second thoughts – or as he put it, third thoughts – about venturing outdoors.
“My balance isn’t good, and a couple hours ago, it seemed like it was worse than it is now,” Hess said.
In Midwood, Brooklyn, another back window of a car was busted by a fallen tree.
On Staten Island, a tree fell on an SUV near Trantor Place and Dixon Avenue in the Port Richmond area.
“I looked out the window and there was this big tree on top of my car,” vehicle owner Patricia Slaughter said. “I’m glad that no one was hurt, that’s the most important thing. The car can be replaced.”
She said she was alerted to the damage when a neighbor called her just after 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
And in Manhattan, the High Line was closed between Gansevoort and 14th Streets because of high winds.
On the other side of the Hudson River, widespread damage was also seen. On Bloomfield Avenue in Edison, New Jersey, a very large tree came down onto a utility pole at the end of a block.
Other utility poles also fell – a total of seven were damaged.
Most of the poles had been replaced by 5 p.m., but power remained out for the block. Power was not expected to be restored until at least later Thursday evening.
In Wyckoff, New Jersey at least three telephone poles were taken down by a fallen tree near Princeton Avenue and Radcliffe Street. PSE&G crews responded to the scene to deal with the live wires.
“It was just one gust of wind that just came by. It was like a tornado,” said resident Rich Mortensen.
“A very large branch fell off a tree, took down one light pole, that light pole in turn with the wires pulled down other light poles,” resident Mike Dipalma said. “They’re rotted inside but you can’t tell until they fall down.”
“It was a loud smashing noise, I thought maybe a tree had hit the house,” said resident Susan Wilkin.
A tree also snapped and took down power lines in Hackensack. And in Englewood, a tree was left blocking a road.
In Connecticut, Route 15 was closed at exit 58 after a tree fell on a van.
NJ TRANSIT riders also faced a rough commute after downed wires and trees caused suspensions and delays on several lines. A fallen tree also caused problems for subway riders in Brooklyn.
Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries connected to the wind damage.
Wind will grow less severe on Thursday night, but winter will return with a vengeance on Friday and over the weekend. Snow squalls are in the forecast for Friday, while wind chills on Saturday morning will make it feel as if it is between 0 and 15 degrees.