Storm Team 4

Severe Storms Trigger Tri-State Tornado Warnings, Kill Man in New York and Leave NJ Community ‘Disaster Zone'

Tens of thousands of people across the tri-state area were without power Friday as ferocious storms downed trees and power lines across the region

What to Know

  • Thousands in the tri-state lost power amid a frightening Halloween night made dangerous by severe thunderstorms and tornado threats
  • The powerful storm system triggered tornado warnings for parts of NJ; local airports reported extensive delays and cancellations
  • The rain moved out before dawn Friday, but some wind lingered; sun returns for the weekend but it'll be in the low 50s

The ferocious storms that tore through the tri-state area late Thursday, triggering rare tornado warnings, have been blamed for the death of a man in New York and left at least one New Jersey community a "disaster" zone.

An 82-year-old Catholic priest died after driving his car into a heavily flooded area in Herkimer County; at some point, he left his vehicle to try to save himself and was washed away, authorities said Friday. His body was found hours later, in the New York town of Norway.

State police identified the man as Thomas Connery of Glenville, in Schenectady County. The Diocese of Albany says Connery was pastor of Immaculate Conception church in Glenville from 1990-2007 and had recently been assigned to a church in Herkimer.

The same fierce weather downed trees and wires across the region, leaving a young trick-or-treater with broken bones after it fell on her, pinning her underneath it, as she was out hunting for candy Thursday night.

The powerful storms triggered extreme weather threats for spots in the tri-state; a tornado warning was issued for parts of New Jersey shortly after midnight. A National Weather Service statement advising people to take cover immediately said "a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado" was located just north of Trenton, moving northeast at 55 mph, with radar indicating rotation.

The borough of Madison was particularly hard-hit. Local authorities declared a disaster area effective at 1 a.m. Friday, authorizing whatever actions needed to be done, from road closures to outside assistance, to repair the damage. The state of emergency was still in place late Friday night.

Tens of thousands of people across the tri-state area remained without power Friday as raging wind gusts continued to plague the region for a second day. More than 20,000 people were still in the dark heading into the weekend. The late-night storms also caused major disruptions to Metro-North’s New Haven line, and extensive delays on some LIRR and NJ Transit lines as well. 

A wind advisory remained in effect for parts of the region through Friday evening, while freeze warnings or watches are in effect for more than a dozen counties leading into Saturday as temperatures plunge into the low 50s.

Click here to check the latest severe weather alerts in your neighborhood.

Thousands in the tri-state are without power following a frightening Halloween night made dangerous by severe thunderstorms and threats of tornadoes. Katherine Creag reports.

The sun returns for the weekend, though. Marathon Sunday looks dry and chilly as the area dips into the 30s and near 40 early in the morning.

Friendly reminder: also on Sunday, daylight saving (NOT savings) time goes into effect, and clocks fall back one hour.

Every spring we set our clocks forward an hour, and every fall we set them back, but why? Learn the real story behind Daylight Saving Time.

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