New York

3 Struck by Lightning in NYC Amid Raging Thunderstorms: NYPD

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of New York and New Jersey Tuesday evening, and then it's going to be an unsettled few days, Storm Team 4 says

What to Know

  • Three men were struck by lightning in Queens during Tuesday's storms, two of them while playing soccer at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
  • Storms continue into the evening, with wider threat for potentially severe weather Wednesday; heat advisories and air quality alerts remain
  • Flash flooding was reported across parts of the tri-state during the thunderstorms Tuesday

UPDATE: More Wild Weather Ahead Wednesday After NYC Lightning Strikes, Tornado

Three people were struck by lightning when thunderstorms roared through the tri-state Tuesday evening, two of them while playing soccer at a Queens park, police say.

Two men, ages 30 and 42, were playing soccer in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Corona when they were hit around 7:30 p.m., according to police. They were initially taken to Elmhurst Hospital, and then the 30-year-old victim, Giovanny Astudillo, was transferred to Jacobi Medical Center in critical condition with burns all over his body. The 42-year-old victim was in stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital.   

A third man, 33, was struck near Bailsey Pond Park in South Jamaica, Queens, and was taken to Jamaica Hospital; his condition wasn't immediately clear but he's expected to survive.  

One witness at Flushing Meadows said a group of men were playing a pickup game of six-on-six soccer when the storm rolled in. Many ran for cover and when they turned around, they saw two men on the ground, with fellow players yelling for help. 

Photos: Lightning Strikes All Over the Tri-State

"You just see two guys laying on the floor, and a guy was running towards us, calling for police in Spanish," said Andrew Graneros, who was working nearby.

Lightning strikes as captured across New York City Tuesday evening, including Queens; Coney Island, Brooklyn; and Soundview, Bronx, as well as flash flooding on 63rd Drive in Rego Park in Queens.

"There was a goalie, he was just laying on the floor, and a defensive player laying next to him -- and you just see people rushing them," he said. 

NYPD officers happened to be stationed in the park for National Night Out and were able to respond quickly. 

News 4
A massive tree toppled in Brooklyn and fell onto a car in Flatlands amid wild storms that ripped through New York.

Meanwhile, a large tree was reported knocked down onto cars in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn, and flash flooding was seen in other parts of the city.

Elsewhere, on Long Island, a tree fell on and went through a house in Selden, officials there said. A man and a woman were trapped inside, but were removed without suffering any injuries. And in Hempstead, there are reports of lightning striking Prospect School on Peninsula Boulevard, sparking a fire, but no injuries were reported.

The storms fired through the tri-state after yet another day of blazing heat in the 90s and stifling humidity. Check the latest weather alerts here. 

Storm Team 4 says wet weather may linger into the late hours Tuesday, but most should subside by midnight. It stays warm and muggy overnight -- and yet another steamy day in the 90s is forecast for Wednesday. Find a cooling center here.

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With that, of course, comes the chance for more storms. Storm Team 4 says Thursday morning looks to stay dry at this point, but another round of storms generated by an approaching cold front will slide through during the afternoon and evening hours. 

News 4 cameras captured a stunning number of lightning strikes lighting up the sky in Hicksville, Long Island, during the storm Tuesday evening.

The threat for severe weather to strike will extend through most of the region, where a few nasty storms could impact the parts of the area with gusty winds and heavy downpours. Unsettled weather will taper off overnight, finally paving the way for some (slight) relief as temps drop back into the 80s.

The threat for severe weather follows rare conditions last week that led to a tornado in Queens.

Twister Downs 50 Trees, Leaves Trail of Destruction in Queens Neighborhood

The Office of Emergency Management encourages the 30/30 rule when it comes to lightning: 

  • If you see lightning, count 30 seconds before you hear thunder.
  • If it’s less than 30 seconds, take cover.
  • And always wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before going back outside.
If you do find yourself outside during a storm, the OEM says to get indoors or find shelter; stay away from tall, isolated trees and large open areas like parks; and always avoid water and downed power lines.

Storm Team 4 reminds people that lightning doesn't have to hit you directly  for you to be injured by it -- lightning can strike a nearby tree, and the current travels underground to injure a nearby person. It is OK, however, to touch someone and try to help them after they've been struck by lightning because by that point, they're no longer carrying a current. 
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