Heavy storm causes chaos in New York, 1 dead

A fast-moving storm in New York city created havoc with the evening commute.

New York: A fast-moving storm packing winds of up to 100 mph ripped through New York city on Thursday, knocking down trees and power lines, snarling traffic, tearing off roofs and leaving one person dead.

A woman was killed when a tree fell on her car as it was parked on a road in Queens. Iline Levakis, 30, of Mechanicsburg, Pa, who was sitting in the driver`s seat, was pronounced dead at the scene, while a 60-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries, police said.

Numerous minor injuries were reported elsewhere.

The storm created havoc with the evening commute. Amtrak trains were running with delays. The Long Island Rail Road said service was temporarily suspended between Penn Station in Manhattan and Jamaica, Queens, because of fallen trees. However, limited service was restored with residual delays. Service east of Jamaica was running on a normal schedule. New Jersey Transit reported delays of 20 to 30 minutes during rush hour, but normal service was restored around 7:45 pm.

At least 30,000 customers were without power on Thursday night, according to Alfonso Quiroz, a spokesman for Consolidated Edison. He said Queens was the hardest hit borough, with 27,000 outages.

The storm hit just after 5 pm, when the National Weather Service briefly issued a tornado warning for Staten Island. Shortly afterward, warnings were issued for Brooklyn and Queens.

"The good news is that most people were safe, just annoyed — traffic being bad or a tree coming down in their yard," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said after touring storm damage in Queens.

The National Weather Service said it would assess the damage on Friday to determine whether a tornado had actually touched down.

Residents across the city were awed by the power of the storm.

Fire officials were inspecting 10 buildings in Brooklyn whose roofs were peeled off or tattered by the wind.

Bureau Report

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