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Scattered Severe Thunderstorms Strike Tri-State Area Yet Again

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Severe thunderstorms blew into some of the Tri-State Area yet again on Wednesday evening, with a threat of gusty winds and hail.

Most of the Tri-State Area was under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warnings were also issued intermittently throughout the evening in the north suburbs, northern New Jersey, and southwest Connecticut.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Elise Finch reported the thunderstorm cells were widely scattered, so that many areas saw clear blue skies while others saw the clouds open up.

In a case in point, in Midtown Manhattan around 8 p.m., mostly cloudy skies and humid air gave way within a matter of seconds to a torrential downpour that left unprepared pedestrians soaked as they ran for cover. Within minutes, the skies were bone dry with blue patches again.

The isolated showers and storms were expected to continue through the night, giving way to a drying trend on Thursday.

The latest round of storms followed a round of overnight storm activity that downed trees and knocked out power to some customers. Utility crews were busy in the morning hours and some commuters faced delays.

In New York City, strong winds knocked out electricity for some residents of Staten Island.

More than 1,000 Staten Island homes were without power at the height of the storm. Nearly all power was restored by Wednesday morning.

Storm Damage
A downed tree after severe thunderstorms moved through the area on July 8, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

Upstate, the storms killed four people and destroyed four homes in the town of Smithfield between Syracuse and Utica.

National Weather Service meteorologist Joanne LaBounty said investigators were set to go to the area to determine if a tornado touched down.

In New Jersey, overhead wire repairs Wednesday morning left the NJ TRANSIT Montclair-Boonton Line running up to an hour late.

There were also tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the Garden State without electricity Wednesday morning. By 4:30 p.m., the number had been reduced to 990, after Public Service Electric & Gas restored power to more than 70,000 customers.

A large tree fell on a power line in West Orange overnight, knocking out electricity on an entire block. In Edison, powerful winds also knocked down trees and power lines.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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