Powerful nor'easter packs heavy winds, downs trees in New York area

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A nor'easter brought torrential rain, heavy wind, and flooding to the New York area, and downed trees and power lines have left thousands of people without electricity throughout the region.

The storm went through the meteorological process called "bombogenesis" overnight, with pressure falling 24 millibars in less than 24 hours, meaning the storm can now be classified as a bomb cyclone.

RELATED: What is a bomb cyclone?

The nor'easter formed off New Jersey, strengthening as it traveled north. New York authorities said a wind-driven fire destroyed three houses in the Fire Island hamlet of Ocean Bay Park early Thursday. No injuries were reported.

Train delays, power outages and school cancellations were reported throughout the region Thursday. Leaves and debris that littered roads created a slippery traffic hazard for commuters.

Long Island and Connecticut were the hardest hit in terms of power outages. More than 50,000 PSEG LI customers were without electricity at the height of the storm in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and nearly 40,000 were without power in Connecticut at one point Thursday morning.

A tree ended up on a house in Medford, and other trees were blocking roads throughout the area. With so much damage and so many outages, it's possible some customers might not have their power restored until Friday.

In New York City, Yates Avenue was completely blocked in the Allerton section of the Bronx after a tree uprooted, taking part of the sidewalk with it and power lines that were connected to some of the houses here.

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Marcus Solis reports on the storm damage from the Bronx.



In Woodhaven, Queens, people woke up to crushed and severely damaged cars after a tree came down on 92nd Street.

Residents were urged to travel with extreme caution and prepare for the possibility of difficult road conditions.

Driving tips:
--Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
--Do not underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
--Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
--Follow recommended routes. Do not ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
--As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
--Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
--Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
--If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

Tips to prepare for flooding and severe weather:
--Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.
--Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
--Develop and practice a 'family escape' plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
--Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
--Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers
--Plan what to do with your pets.
--Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
--Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
--Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
--Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing

Disaster supplies on hand should include:
--Flashlight and extra batteries
--Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
--First aid kit and manual
--Emergency food and water
--Non-electric can opener
--Essential medicines
--Checkbook, cash, credit cards, ATM cards

For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website.

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