Rain, wind storm disrupts power, travel in NJ

January 26, 2010 3:05:57 AM PST
The wind and rain subsided by nightfall, but at 8:30 Monday morning the gusts were so powerful, they toppled a tree right on to a house on Rutland Avenue. Edith Korda can show you to the front door of her Teaneck home, but you can't walk out. Dozens of tree limbs block the doorway after the strong gust of wind uprooted the tree, knocking a utility pole and wires down with it. "Here I am in a real holy mess and thank goodness no one got hurt," she said.

Korda says the noise of the tree falling brought back memories of being a child during the allied bombing of Berlin in the Second World War.

"I thought something hit the house. I didn't think it was a tree," she said.

Edith didn't lose her electricity, but a few towns away in Tenafly, the middle school and high school let students out at noon because there was no power.

"The weather is crazy and it's crazy in the school taking everyone home. I have five kids with me right now," parent Rosemary Lombardo said.

Downed trees and wires are a common site all around Bergen County, remnants of the gusting winds and soaking rain.

At one point Monday afternoon, more than 50,000 customers around the state were without electricity.

Construction debris blowing off high-rise buildings in Jersey City disrupted light-rail transit service.

Wide areas of the state got more than 2 inches of rain, and wind gusts topped 50 mph.

The storm also sent temperatures soaring into the 60s, but forecasters say the warm air will soon be gone too.