NEW YORK (WABC) -- Severe storms caused street flooding, property damage and knocked out power to many in the New York area early Monday.
The older trees and branches snapped during the storm and landed on top of power lines in Dutchess County. Utility crews shut down roads as they went about the tedious task of repairing the lines.
Navigating through a mess of wet leaves, cable wires analog across the roadway and fallen branches and trees, workers stick to their tool of choice to clear the debris
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"We had a thunderstorm roll through. It was a lot of high winds and lightning. We've had some transmission problems running north to south along the Route 22 corridor," Dave Ruud of NYS Electric & Gas said.
"It was the closest you could get to having a tornado without having a tornado," resident Donna Banks said when we asked her what fire officials told her.
Banks went grocery shopping, but can't cook anything she bought because her power's out. Her home, which was built in the 1840's, was largely sparred, but her neighbor's Honda Accord was not. A tree branch smashed the back window.
Banks neighbor, Karen Finnerty, was luckier. She has a generator and her property was largely untouched, but the powerful high winds created quite a stir.
"We just woke around 7 o'clock to see these big winds, and I was looking around and I had this graduation tent outside and I saw it almost as high as my bedroom window upstairs," she said.
In Connecticut, a golf course manager says several workers are being treated after lightning struck near a building they were in. Lake of Isles general manager Archie Cart says the course workers in North Stonington had sought shelter in an enclosed, grounded building during strong storms blamed for some fires and other damage across the state Monday morning. He says the workers are expected to be OK.
Cart says he's trying to determine exactly how many people are being treated. He says two workers were knocked over by a nearby lightning strike on the way to a shelter.
The storms are also blamed for more than 12,000 power outages in the state and delays of up to 30 minutes on the Metro-North railroad.
Officials in New Jersey suspect a lightning strike may have sparked a three alarm blaze at a townhouse. Firefighters battled flames and smoke shooting through the roof of the attached structure on Amberly Drive in Manalapan. No word of any injuries, but the damage was significant.
Storms also knocked out power across Long Island. At one location in Nassau County, officials believe a lightning strike hit a pole, taking down power lines in the process. Street flooding also made travel hazardous in Rockville Centre.
On Staten Island, a priest's prayer was interrupted by a bolt of lightning, hitting Saint Anthony of Padua church.
"It startled me. I jumped up. I literally jumped up," Father John Wroblewski said.
"I look up and said, 'oh my gosh the church is on fire.' and it was coming from the steeple by the cross," Deacon Joe Rentkowski said,
Firefighters got everyone out of the church safely and flames were brought under control before causing too much damage.