Storm Rips Through LI, Thousands Without Power

A side street in Carle Place was too flodded for this car to pass on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.
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A side street in Carle Place was too flooded for this car to pass on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.

A strong thunderstorm quickly ripped through Long Island on Wednesday, knocking out power to thousands of residents, flooding local streets and causing lengthy delays on the Long Island Rail Road—all while another storm is on its way.

As of 3:33 p.m., the Long Island Power Authority reported that more than 5,000 customers were without power. The majority of the outages were in the Town of Oyster Bay with up to 3,000 ratepayers in the dark. The Town of North Hempstead had more than 1,000 residents without power.

Nassau County police warned drivers to be careful driving through intersections where traffic signals are out and advised against driving through large puddles. Many vehicles became disabled driving through deep water amid flash flooding.

The powerful storm also caused weather-related signal problems on the LIRR, which resulted in delays of up to 90 minutes on multiple branches. But the railroad later reported that it was working on or close to schedule.

The National Weather Service called for a flash flood warning for the western part of Nassau County as a result of the recent thunderstorms. Both Nassau and Suffolk counties were placed under severe thunderstorm warnings earlier in the day.

The weather service said the afternoon storm produced nickel-sized hail in Mineola and Carle Place and large rainfall amounts in other areas. A parking lot in Jericho had up to 8 inches of water from the rain, the NWS said. Wind as high as 60 miles per hour was recorded off the Long Island Expressway near Pinelawn Road, meteorologist Joey Picca said.

He added that wind damage caused downed trees and power lines in Williston Park.

And another storm could hit the Island in the late afternoon, early evening, forecasters said. Long Islanders should expect more lightning, thunder and gusty winds during the evening commute.