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Overnight Storm Knocks Out Power to 5,000 Customers, Con Ed Says

By Aidan Gardiner | January 31, 2013 7:30am | Updated on January 31, 2013 8:05am
 ConEdison crews repair a damaged transformer in Staten Island on a recent afternoon.
ConEdison crews repair a damaged transformer in Staten Island on a recent afternoon.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

NEW YORK CITY — The savage rains and heavy wind that blasted the city early Thursday left 5,000 customers without power, according to Consolidated Edison.

The storm, which battered the city in the predawn hours, sent trees careening into power lines causing mass outages in parts of Queens and Staten Island, a utility spokesman said.

At one point 1,200 Staten Islanders lost their power, he said. And in Queens, 1,814 customers went dark.

Richmond Hill was hit the hardest, with 1,419 customers losing power, according to Con Edison's outage map.

As of 6:30 a.m., 5,000 customers around the city had no power. Repair crews were dispatched to the affected areas to restore power lines, however, and the numbers could fluctuate, the spokesman said.

Most customers can expect their power to be restored later Thursday morning, the spokesman said.

Unlike during Hurricane Sandy when flood waters damaged internal wiring, Thursday's outages were caused by downed trees and can be repaired quickly, the spokesman said.

In anticipation of the storm, the NYPD Wednesday night said it would increase the number of highway patrol units and tow trucks to the city's roads to help motorists. It also encouraged New Yorkers to call 311 — instead of 911 for emergencies — for weather-related incidents that weren't life-threatening.

Thursday morning's downpour, caused by a warm air blowing north through the New York area, came a day after near record-high temperatures Wednesday.

Temperatures will remain in the 50s throughout Thursday, but plummet back into the 30s Friday and through the weekend, as cold air moves into the area.

There were no reported weather-related serious injuries or deaths, according to the NYPD and the FDNY.