Commuters suffer after deadly storm hits NYC
100-mph winds down trees, tear off roofs; falling tree kills woman in Queens
NEW YORK ó A short but severe storm might have moved quickly through New York City Thursday night, but its aftermath left travelers bracing for a Friday commute expected to be anything but fast.
The storm, packing winds up to 100 mph, uprooted trees, damaged cars and left one person dead.
At 5 a.m. on Friday, NBC News reported that every Long Island Rail Road line was experiencing delays except for the Port Washington line, which was suspended. Services on the line were not expected to be restored in time for morning commute.
Local and express buses were running with "extensive delays", the Metropolitan Transport Authority said. However, subway lines were mostly running normally and all bridges and tunnels were open.
The Port Authority said New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey were not experiencing any major delays, NBC News reported.
New Jersey Transit reported delays of 20 to 30 minutes during Thursday night's rush hour but normal service was restored around 7:45 p.m.
About a third of the estimated 8.8 million workers in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area commute via public transportation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
Thursday's storm hit just after 5 p.m. EDT, when the National Weather Service briefly issued a tornado warning for Staten Island. Shortly afterward, it added warnings for Brooklyn and Queens.
'Most people were safe'
A tree falling on Iline Leuakis's parked car in Queens killed her as she sat in the driver's seat. Responders pronounced 30-year old Leuakis, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., dead at the scene, while a 60-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries, police said.
Others in the metropolitan area reported numerous minor injuries to authorities.
"The good news is that most people were safe, just annoyed ó traffic being bad or a tree coming down in their yard," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said after touring storm damage in Queens.