NBC 4 New York
LIPA crews worked to restore power to as many as 30,000 customers after the thunderstorm overnight, but after Sandy any chance of restoring confidence and trust in the utility appears to be gone with the wind. News 4's Greg Cergol reports.
The intense rains and winds that battered the tri-state area overnight, causing minor flooding in some spots and downing trees and wires in others, moved out of the region shortly after sunrise as a new cold front is expected to send temperatures plummeting once again.
A downed LIPA utility pole knocked out service on the Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma branches in both directions east of Mineola.
The pole is leaning on an electrical line west of the Hicksville Station. Buses have been ordered to shuttle stranded passengers.
The New York City metropolitan area was spared the worst of the powerful storm, which spawned tornadoes in Tennessee and Georgia as it barreled toward the coast. But the wind-swept rain did cause power outages across the tri-state area.
Consolidated Edison reported about 5,000 customers without power in the five boroughs Thursday morning. The utility had 4,000 customers in the dark in Westchester. NYSEG had 7,700 outages in Westchester and Putnam counties, while the Long Island Power Authority reported 28,000 with no electricity. In Connecticut, more than 50,000 lost power. New Jersey utilities had 46,000 in the dark.
Wind gusts reached a high of 70 mph in Centre Island during the peak of the storm, while LaGuardia Airport saw 64 mph and Newark, N.J. recorded gusts of 59 mph.
Trees were reported down in neighborhoods in northern New Jersey and commuters said fallen branches blocked part of the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut.
A wind advisory remains in effect through Thursday evening for much of the region, though the gusts behind the cold front aren't expected to be as powerful.
The mercury is about to dive, though. After reaching a high of 60 degrees Wednesday afternoon, temperatures started out at a balmy 59 degrees early Thursday but are expected to drop steadily throughout the day. By Thursday night, forecasters say temperatures will have crashed to the high 20s.
The weather turns more seasonable Friday, with high temperatures in the mid-30s and a chance of scattered snow flurries. Temperatures dip below freezing again Saturday, though sunny skies will help lessen the frigid blow. By Sunday, temperatures bump back up to the high 30s, then slide up and down within a few degrees in that range through early next week.