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Probe into whether tornado hit NYC in deadly storm

Sep 17, 2010 7:36:00 AM - thestate.com
Residents, utility crews and railroad workers were cleaning up debris Friday after a brief but fierce storm barreled through the city, tearing up trees, stripping roofs from homes, disrupting train service and killing at least one person.

The National Weather Service was to dispatch investigators to assess whether a tornado touched down Thursday evening during the storm. Tornado warnings had been issued for Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens.

Officials at Long Island Rail Road, the nation's largest commuter rail line, said crews worked through the night to clear tracks of fallen trees, which caused service to be suspended temporarily between Penn Station in Manhattan and Jamaica, Queens. Full service was restored around 5 a.m. Friday. However, Port Washington branch service remained suspended and passengers were advised to use LIRR train service on alternate branches.

Nearly 26,000 customers remained without power on Friday, Consolidated Edison spokeswoman Elizabeth Clark said. She said hardest hit was Queens, with 24,700 outages. At the height of the storm, a total of 37,000 customers were without power. Crews would be working to restore power throughout the day, she said.

A woman was killed when a tree fell on a car parked on a road in Queens. Driver Iline Levakis, 30, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene and a 60-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries, police said. Numerous minor injuries were reported elsewhere.

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