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Wicked wind causes damage in New Jersey

February 25, 2011 10:34:24 PM PST
High winds and heavy rain hit the New York area on Friday, causing some damage in New Jersey.

A micro-burst of wind caused serious damage in Lakewood, New Jersey, where strong gusts knocked down trees and branches around Kimball Medical Center shortly after 2:00 p.m.

According to a hospital official, a lot of tree branches had fallen and a dozen vehicles were damaged in the parking lot. She says that the roof of one vehicle was torn off by the wind. The medical center was not damaged.

A roof partially blew off an apartment building at 404 Prospect Street. The rafters were exposed on building 2 at the High Point apartments.

"The wind and the rain were twirling, like they were dancing and it ripped up the shingles, blew them off," office manager Theresa Watson said.

Maintenance worker Christopher Draheim walked us over to the apartment where he forced his way into a damaged unit to rescue a woman as the storm blew.

"And as I kicked the door in, she was crying, worried about her things. I said we have to go," he explained.

Three buildings were damaged by the quick moving storm. Debris, roof shingles and patio furniture were strewn around the hardest hit building. The Red Cross and emergency crews arrived to assess the damage, place families and shut down the damaged units.

Families were allowed to come back to gather their belongings. Between the Red Cross and building owners, they've been placed in temporary housing until repairs are made, and that could take weeks.

The National Weather Service had issued a high wind warning for much of the New York area for Friday afternoon and night.

In New York City, residents can report downed trees or hanging tree limbs by calling 311 or going to www.nyc.gov/311online. Con Edison customers should report loss of power to 1-800-75-ConEd or go to www.coned.com Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) customers should report loss of power to 1-800-490-0075.

Earlier, heavy rainfall caused some flooding in low-lying areas. Minor to moderate flooding was occurring in northern and central New Jersey Friday morning. Most main roads remained passable although some had one or more lanes closed due to flooding.

On Route 46 in Clifton, the storm brought down a huge traffic light pole right in the middle of the roadway.

Emergency crews were directing traffic through the area, making sure no one got hurt. It was that kind of morning all over the Garden State.

Not far from Route 46, flooding knocked out one lane on Route 3.

In Long Branch, some traffic lights were knocked out by a power outage on Ocean Boulevard.

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