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Fast-Moving Storms Take Down Trees, Spark Fires Throughout Tri-State Area

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Quick-moving storms caught some in the Tri-State Area by surprise Friday and left a mess behind.

A one-way residential street in East New York was completely blocked off after the storm split a giant tree on the sidewalk right down the middle. Half of it fell onto a parked car, taking overhead wires down with it.

Vorenter Morris is so grateful she avoided the tree falling by mere minutes Friday evening.

She pulled up to her home on Barbey Street right after it toppled on her usual parking spot.

"It's only God because if it did not happen before we got here, we would have parked right there, so it would be under the wires that came down and everything like that," Morris told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

Nobody was injured, but the block was impassible with torn wires dangling on the street.

Firefighters came to inspect the damage but told residents they could not move the branches until Con Edison clears the wires.

Veronica McDuffie says clearing the road is urgent.

"We have one handicap child here. He uses a ramp. We have another handicap gentleman, he lives over there. When their buses and vans come in, all this has to be clear," she said.

A storm took down trees, igniting electrical lines, in Brooklyn on Aug. 27, 2021. (Credit: CBS2)

A few blocks away on Alabama Avenue, firefighters were trying to douse the flames on overhead wires after the storm took down trees, igniting the electrical lines.

Over in New Jersey, two cars had to be towed away on flatbed trucks once flooding on Hackensack Street in East Rutherford finally went down. They had gotten stuck in the rising rainwater.

In Caldwell, New Jersey, one person's shed completely burned down when lightning struck a tree overhead.

"Large lightning, large winds and it struck a tree above us, sending the bolt down, catching this shed right here on fire, then caught the garage behind it on fire," Caldwell Fire Chief Andrew Pollara said.

The cars in the garage were also burned, but firefighters say thankfully, the residents stayed safe at a distance.

"While the guys were fighting the fire, the branches started to fall, almost hitting our firefighters. Thankfully, they were not injured," Pollara said.

Back in Brooklyn, Con Edison said they would send a crew to Barbey Street in East New York, but because it seems nobody on the block lost power, they do not know if the downed wires are even Con Edison wires.

Regardless, residents should still stay away because they could be live.

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