A line of severe thunderstorms is set to hit Long Island Thursday evening, bringing high winds, large hail and the risk of tornadic activity.
The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for both Nassau and Suffolk counties. A special weather statement issued at 3:13 p.m. stated that the area would be hit with a line of severe thunderstorms between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., and additional thunderstorms will linger over the area until midnight.
These storms could produce dangerous lightning, winds of over 58 mph and hail that’s over an inch in diameter. Meteorologists also warned that between one and two inches per hour of torrential rain is likely, which could lead to flash flooding.
The NWS also stated that “isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.”
At the time of the special weather statement the storms were moving through central New York and central Pennsylvania, and had already produced wind damage. Meteorologists said that the storms did not appear to be weakening.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already activated the State Emergency Operations Center, and met with leaders from Con Edison, the New York Power Authority and the Public Service Commission Thursday morning to prepare for the storm.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano activated the County’s Non-Emergency Hotline at 6 p.m. Thursday. Residents with non-life threatening emergencies can call 888-684-4274 to help keep 911 open for life threatening emergencies.
Mangano also announce that all Nassau County evening events for Thursday have been cancelled, including the mosquito control public forum at the Freeport Public Library and visiting hours at the Nassau County Correctional Center.
LIPA and the National Grid announced that they will have 430 linemen and 120 tree trimmers available to address any power outages from the storm. Residents should report any outages by calling 1-800-490-0075.