Powerful Winds Down Trees, Power Lines Across Tri-State Area

WCBS 880 Newsroom
November 01, 2019 - 3:01 pm
Copiague storm damage

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Wicked winds welcomed in November, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses from New Jersey to Connecticut and some on Long Island may not have the lights back on until Friday night.

The Tri-State area was cleaning up Friday morning after the Halloween storm packing powerful winds and severe thunderstorms blew across the region, downing trees and power lines.

In New Jersey, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties early Friday as a severe thunderstorm moved through Pennington. However, there were no reports of any tornados touching down.

The weather caused damage, outages and commuter delays across Long Island, with the LIRR reporting delays due to signal troubles, slippery rail conditions and downed trees.

"It's terrible, I feel sorry for those people," said Dominic Williams describing the massive tree that fell on top of his neighbor's home in Copiague. As WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported the tree is so large it nearly covers the entire house.

"It looks like a hurricane happened, honestly, the way that tree came out of the ground and sitting on these people's hosues. It's crazy," Williams said.

A similar scene played out in Huntington, where on Bay Hills Court a two-story home was also damaged by a large tree. Wires and branches covered nearby roadways making in a maze to get around. 

In Queens, a large tree came crashing down on the corner of 43rd Street and Astoria Boulevard South.

"I heard the wind whipping and the wind scares me. It was Halloween night, it was bad. It was a bad Halloween night, scary," one resident said.

The tree struck one of landlord George Emeritus's tenant's cars.

"Poor guy woke up to go to work and saw that his work fan was a little smashed up," Emeritus said. "Last night was nuts."

Firefighters from just around the corner came quickly to saw the tree trunk apart and reopen the roadway. Thankfully, there were no injuries.

In Westchester County, the Journal News says a 9-year-old girl suffered fractures when a tree fell on her while she was trick-or-treating on Thursday night in New Rochelle. Witnesses told WNBC-TV that there was a frantic effort by firefighters with chainsaws to free her. Her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

It was a rough morning for commuters in Connecticut, where they faced significant delays and crowding conditions because of a slew of weather-related problems. Service was suspended for hours on Metro-North's New Haven line because of overhead wire damage. Service on the New Canaan branch was also suspended because of power issues.

Westport Metro-North Station
Sean Adams/WCBS 880

At times, 80 mile per hour winds lashed Connecticut overnight, leaving no corner of the state spared. State DOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti says around 1:15 a.m. the New Haven line took a hit.

"We found out that we lost all the tracks in West Haven, with trees coming down, taking out both the signal power and the electrical power that was going on," he said. 

In upstate New York, the Buffalo area was dealing with flash flooding after 4 to 5 inches of rain.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Spectrum News on Friday that several hundred people were being evacuated in scattered areas around the state because of high waters. Police in the central New York village of Dolgeville used a boat to rescue people from a home. Officials in nearby Oneida County advised residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

There were dozens of school closings and delays around the state of New York.

A wind advisory remains in effect until noon for parts of the Tri-State area with possible wind gusts of up to 50 mph.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.