Woman struck by lightning dies as storm cleanup continues

July 9, 2012 3:12:25 AM PDT
A woman who was struck by lightning has died and thousands are still without power as New Jersey continues to clean up following heavy thunderstorms that swept through the Garden State Saturday.

Authorities say 48-year-old Indira Tursunova, of New City, was hit by a lightning bolt wahile walking along the sea wall at Monmouth Beach Saturday. She was among a group of people rushing to leave the beach as the sky darkened.

A Monmouth Beach officer and others tried to revive Tursunova at the scene. She was rushed in critical condition to Monmouth Medical Center, where she died early Sunday.

Meanwhile, utility crews have whittled down the number of customers who lost electricity in th storms.

Jersey Central Power and Light says 1,183 homes and businesses remain with service Monday. Most are in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

Nearly 70,000 customers lost service when the severe storms hit Saturday night. The storms included lightning and strong winds gusts of more than 70 mph that knocked down numerous trees and power lines across the region.

The storms came just a week after similar storms hit in Atlantic and Cape May counties, knocking out power to more than 200,000 customers.

Saturday was a day of blistering heat that topped the 100-degree mark in some spots, and real-feel temperatues were as high as 115.

Cities and urban areas were under excessive heat warnings, while heat advisories were in place elsewhere.

The violent storms caused trees to crash down on homes, and dozens of cars were crushed and power lines toppled.

CLICK HERE to see images of the storm damage.

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