Downed Trees, Rolling Blackouts, Marks Epic Rainfall

NEW YORK -
A tree lays on the ground in Boro Park’s 16th Ave. and 43rd Street after last week’s drenching storm. (Hamodia Photo)

An epic storm, complete with torrential rainfall, flash flooding, gusty winds and a cold front, walloped the tristate region on Friday, downing dozens of trees and causing the loss of electricity for tens of thousands of households.

A drenching rain thwacked Boro Park hours before Shabbos, flooding some streets and downing trees.

“Some of the heaviest rain I remember ever in Boro Park,” said Moshe, a weather aficionado who asked not to have his last name in the paper.

In Staten Island, about 3 to 4 inches fell in the course of several hours. Virtually the entire Jewish neighborhood there was left in the dark after a tree fell on an electricity pole, downing it, and wires started burning in two places, Rabbi Hershel Steinberg said.

“We didn’t have electricity from about 4:30 in the afternoon until after the seudas Shabbos — which was about 10:30,” Rabbi Steinberg said. “The interesting thing was that Rabbi Pollack’s shul,” referring to the main shul in the Willow Brook neighborhood, “had electricity and the street where the Gerrer shtiebel was had electricity.”

“Besides for that,” he added, “the whole Yiddishe neighborhood was all dark.”

“Fortunately we had jars of scented candles which we put in all the rooms. So we were able to prepare for Shabbos and eat the seudah  until power was restored. My grandchildren found it interesting and we brought the conversation to appreciate what Hashem gives us!”

Many Jewish families were upstate for the summer, particularly since it was Shabbos Nachamu.

In Woodridge, many trees were reported knocked down by the rain and wind. Trees fell on two bungalows in Camp Bais Yitzchok-Skver.

“Two fell on bungalows, one on a porch and all family members were in the bedroom, and one on the bedroom and all family members were on the porch,” one person told Hamodia, having heard from her sister who was in the camp. B’chasdei Hashem no people were hurt.”

The camp’s management quickly turned off the electricity to prevent fires from live wires. Up until an hour before the zman they had no water or electricity.

In northern New Jersey, a public works employee taking part in a tree removal effort in a park was killed when it fell on him. Thomas Epper and four other workers were in the process of removing a tree that had partially fallen into the Saddle River when the accident occurred around 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

After the rains subsided, the weather improved and is expected to be sunny until late Tuesday.