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Storm causes damage across NYC and nearby suburbs, bringing down trees and knocking out power

Storms bring down trees, cause damage north of NYC
Storms bring down trees, cause damage north of NYC 05:11

GREENWOOD LAKE, N.Y. -- Powerful thunderstorms knocked down trees and power lines Thursday across New York and New Jersey.

The storms were fast-moving, but they left behind plenty of damage. In some areas, the rain flooded streets and yards. 

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued throughout the area.

The storm was blamed for some falling debris from a possible lightning strike in New York City. 

It also interfered with travelers on one of the busiest days heading into the holiday weekend. 

Trees scattered throughout Greenwood Lake, N.Y.

A major cleanup operation was underway Thursday night in Greenwood Lake and the Town of Warwick. Trees came down as a likely thunderstorm microburst swept through the area. A fallen power line roasted the pavement, and a downed tree crushed a truck. Heavy winds blew a gazebo that had been screwed down onto a driveway. 

"Some big, big trees came down. Telephone poles were snapped. It's gonna take awhile for them to clean this up," Greenwood Lake resident Chris Haslam said. 

"All of a sudden, boom. Started out with hail, then the branches, then the big trees. All within a 10 minute span," resident Steve Hosselet said. 

Greenwood Lake Mayor Tom Howley said another tree fell onto a school bus, but no one was injured. Some local school children were trapped on buses that couldn't move as trees fell on roads. 

"It came in very fast. I could not get up to the shores, because live wires were down everywhere," said Howley. "Up and down our streets, there are many trees down, many wires are down."

"There are areas where there's trees across the roadway, driveways. People are not going to be able to get out right away," Warwick Police Chief John Rader said. 

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Storm damage in Greenwood, N.Y. on May 23, 2024.  CBS2

"Talking to residents, it sounded like a locomotive coming out of the house earlier this morning. Some of them got out just in time, jumping out windows, onto the deck. Just incredible stuff," Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said. 

One homeowner felt lucky after a tree fell across the road instead of onto his home. 

"This is something that can be rectified and cleaned up. Shame to see this happen, but it happened so quickly, like a ten-minute storm," Brian Trusewicz said. 

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CBS2

In Westchester County, crews were out clearing debris in Yorktown Heights, where multiple downed trees and wires were reported. Some businesses also lost power. 

People in Croton-on-Hudson, Montrose and Peekskill saw hail nearly the size of a golf ball. 

Power outages because of the storm

As of 6 p.m. Thursday:   

  • In New York, power company Orange and Rockland Utilities reported more than 3,000 outages
  • In New Jersey, JCP&L had more than 11,000 outages
  • PSEG NJ had more than 2,300 outages
  • PSEG LI had 797 
  • Con Ed had 212

Falling debris in NYC

One person was injured by falling debris in New York City's Financial District. 

Part of a building fell and hit a window at Pine and Water streets. 

The FDNY said it responded around 10 a.m. to a report of a building possibly struck by lightning at 80 Pine Street.

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Debris on Pine Street following a possible lightning strike on a building there on May 23, 2024.  CBS2

Witnesses said the debris came from another building or somewhere nearby before hitting a window on the 38th floor of the EEP law firm.

One person was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital with unknown injuries.

"We had some scratches, some other people shaken up by what happened," witness Caleb Blodgett said. "The glass flew 25 feet through our building. Luckily for everyone, there was no one down on the ground when it happened."

Follow our First Alert Weather team for the latest forecast, live radar and weather alerts. 

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