Long Island was spared from the worst from Thursday’s storms, which caused considerable damage in the upstate region, but weakened as it approached the Island.
“Out of all the folks in the line, we probably got it the easiest,” Tim Morrin, meteorologist at the National Weather Service said of Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The fast-moving line of thunderstorms swept across from Ohio and into upstate New York early in the evening and entered Nassau around 8 p.m. It was out of Suffolk by 9 p.m.
Strong winds caused downed trees and power lines, resulting in scattered outages throughout the Island. As of 9 p.m. Thursday, LIPA was reporting 1,800 outages.
The Long Island Rail Road reported a downed tree in Locust Valley around 8 p.m., the National Weather Service said.
A spokesman from the LIRR said all trees and branches were cleared by 4:30 Friday morning, early enough that it didn’t disrupt the morning commute. The storm didn’t have much of an impact on evening travels.
There were reports of wind gusts reaching the mid-50s over the Long Island Sound around 8 p.m, the NWS said. Wind was measured near 50 mph in Eatons Neck, and 51 mph in Point Lookout.
Other than strong wind in some areas, and ominous clouds, which Morrin called a “natural phenomenon” that occurs when the sun angle is very low, the storm didn’t produce any serious damage to the Island. Rainfall was minimal.
“They kind of lost their momentum,” he said of the thunderstorms. “So as they moved across Long Island they were in the process of weakening.”
Upstate New York wasn’t as fortunate.
As of Thursday evening, there were approximately 93,700 people without power statewide.
Chemung County had up to 17,000 outages, Putnam, Westchester, and Steuben each had nearly 5,000 outages, and Broome County had 4,000 outages.
More than 19,000 ratepayers in Dutchess County were without power.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for Chemung County after a possible tornado touched down in Elmira.
The storm is also being blamed for two deaths. A 61-year-old New York City man died after lightning struck a building, bringing down scaffolding outside a Brooklyn church. A woman in Pennsylvania was killed by a felled tree.
A Suffolk County man had to be hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after he was shocked from inside his house from a possible lightning strike, police said.
-With Associated Press