Dangerous storms trigger flooding, wind damage across Tri-State

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Dangerous storms trigger flooding, wind damage across Tri-State
Brooklyn was hit particularly hard by the dangerous storms. Residents saw white-out conditions and downed trees. WABC-7 Torres reports.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Clean up efforts have begun across the Tri-State after severe storms swept across the area, causing trees to fall and triggering dangerous floods.

Brooklyn was hit particularly hard by the weather. A microburst with estimated maximum wind speeds between 60-70 mph was confirmed in the Bensonhurst neighborhood on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm only lasted a few minutes but it packed a punch. When it was over, neighbors emerged to find their block in ruins.

"It felt like an earthquake, and you heard glass crashing upstairs, everybody ran to the back of the house, and me my cousin went upstairs and you just saw an explosion of glass," said Bensonhurst homeowner Alfredo Anelli.

Surveillance video shows cars driving along in moderate rain on Bay Ridge Parkway, when seconds later there were whiteout conditions as 70 mph winds raged down the block.

A giant tree narrowly missed a house on the street, and one tree destroyed a vacant car. That portion of Bay Ridge Parkway, between 19th and 20th Avenues, was still closed Wednesday morning.

"I was watching out the window as this huge burst of wind like I never saw came down the street and the water was wooshing down and I looked up and this tree was bending in half and the awning was hanging just by the very edge, it was frightening," resident Joan McGrath said.

In Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, there were reports of multiple trees down. Crews found that falling trees had knocked out electricity to homes in the area of 1960 Bay Ridge Avenue.

Fearing the worst, first responders rushed to the scene and found more than a dozen massive London plane trees tossed around like twigs. The trees are roughly 50 to 75 years old.

Fortunately, local houses were more or less spared.

Amid all the damage, only one person was injured when a branch fell on their shoulder after they left their home.

"I think you could say we got really lucky today, there is a lot of damage but luckily not a lot of structural damage," FDNY Assistant Chief Paul Miano said. "Yeah, I think New Yorkers got an eye opener today and we're all really lucky at the outcome."

The subway tracks were not necessarily spared in terms of staying dry and safe from inclement weather. On Tuesday afternoon, passengers on the N train near the Utrecht Avenue Station were greeted with rainfall and some standing water.

The flow of water came into the N train at the Utrecht Avenue Station.

With random, severe weather becoming the norm, Zach Iscol, the city's commissioner of emergency management, says people need to start thinking about how to prepare for these emergencies.

"This just sort of speaks to the new normal we're living in and it's incredibly important for people to think about how they're gonna prepare for these types of emergencies," he said.

Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger speaks to Zachary Iscol, the commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management, after New York City gets hit with severe weather Tuesday afternoon.

Storms bring down trees, trigger flooding in New Jersey

In Kenilworth, New Jersey, a massive tree fell into the middle of the street on Monroe Avenue between North 12th Street and North 11th Street, and landed on a truck with one person inside.

Toni Yates gives a live update from Kenilworth, New Jersey, where severe weather caused a tree to crash into the street.

Angel Nazario said he was innocently driving down the street when the large tree landed right on top of his car.

"Cops told me to stay in the car for about 10 mins, then ran out," driver Angel Nazario said.

Thankfully, he was not injured as he escaped out the back door. Video showed that the inside of the tree was completely rotted, basically leaving it hollow and unable to withstand the sudden summer storm.

"There's about 20 inches of rot in the middle," Nazario said.

All around Kenilworth, branches hung like tinsel on wires. Lawns and streets were sprinkled with tree debris, and gutters were clogged.

"The way the storm was started, you saw all of the sudden, wind started kicking up," resident Eddie Parrot said. "Rain was blowing all over the place. Power went off at my company."

Resident Andrew Wolters was actually thankful his branches, pruned by the storm, fell towards his house instead of away.

"Otherwise, it would've taken out the transformer and the whole block," he said. "Would've been horrible with this heat wave with no AC. We're lucky it went that way and not towards the street."

In Edison, video showed cars driving through flooded roadways that looked like a lake on Amboy Avenue.


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