COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Deadly storms tore through the Tri-State Area over the weekend, downing trees and leaving thousands of people in the dark.
At least two people were killed when the fast-moving storms swept through the area – one on Fire Island and another in Connecticut.
Parts of Suffolk County saw the worst damage. Hail bore down, winds gust up to 50 miles an hour, trees toppled onto homes and a utility pole crashed into a car.
One tree destroyed part of the sidewalk as it fell onto Michael Messina's car in Commack.
Suffolk County Officials Update On Storm Recovery, Power Outages
"It looks like the Wizard of Oz. It's really crazy. Everything was just flying up in the air," he said. "In just a matter of seconds, tiles on the roof came off, the pool house got damaged, chairs got broken, PVC fence broken."
Near Hallock Beach in Miller Place, beach goers were caught in the downpour as the fast-moving storms interrupted what was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
"I heard a loud bang. I was like, 'boom!' Everyone was saying it's a tornado, but I don't think it was," one man said.
In Northport, it was a dangerous scene as cars got caught in flash flooding.
At Seaview Marina on Fire Island, a woman drowned during the storm. Police in Fairfield, Conn. said a downed tree also killed a man who was in his car.
The bad weather only lasted about 15 minutes but still leave devastation in its path.
"We've been here 55 years and we've never seen a storm this way," said Commack resident Rochelle Masters.
"The umbrellas - everything was flying - chairs. It happened in three minutes. We didn't even expect something like that," resident Carlos Santelices said.
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Widespread power outages impacted tens of thousands of residents on a hot and humid day. Many had no electricity through the night.
"About one minute into the storm, everything went out," said another resident.
"I have a generator. I've never used it before. So now I started it up, it's running, just periodically. That, and candles," resident Alan Bryan said.
PSEG Long Island crews worked around the clock in 16-hour shifts. Meanwhile, some residents pitched in to do their part.
"Everybody was here, everybody was helping each other. People were moving the huge trees. It just feels like we're all part of a community," said resident Evgeniya Ermakova.
Ermakova, who's pregnant and has a 3-year-old child, was especially thankful for her neighbor, Messina, whose generator provided power to his house and two others, including hers.
"This is the first generator I bought since Superstorm Sandy," he said.
As of 11:15 a.m., PSEG Long Island said 20,448 customers were still without power. At its peak, there were nearly 75,000 customers in the dark.
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