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Isaias tears down trees, power lines in Franklin Square and Elmont

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Angela Pedone said she was lucky that she decided to go to the bank during Tropical Storm Isaias, because when she returned to her house on Washington Street in Franklin Square on Tuesday afternoon, she saw tree limbs strewn across her driveway, with some on top of her next-door neighbor’s truck.

“Thank God I wasn’t home,” she said, “’cause I have a new car, and it’s a lease.”

Her neighbors had removed the limbs from her driveway and cut them up into smaller chunks by Wednesday morning, when, she said, several neighbors drove by to assess the storm’s damage.

“Nobody got hurt,” she would tell the passersby, “so we’re lucky.”

The tropical storm rolled through Nassau County on Tuesday afternoon with sustained wind in the 30 to 50mph range — with some gusts in excess of 70 miles per hour. It tore down more than 1,000 trees and some 338 electric and phone wires in its wake.

As a result, several streets were blocked off, or partially obstructed, in Elmont on Wednesday, and streets in the Franklin Square and West Hempstead area remained closed, as crews worked to remove the trees and repair the power lines. Anyone trying to turn onto Fenworth Boulevard from Dogwood Avenue, for example, quickly realized they had to turn around because a portion of the road, near Wesley United Methodist Church, was roped off so that PSEG Long Island crews could remove a tree caught in a power line.

Power outages were reported throughout the area, and as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, PSEG reported that some outages “could last for an extended period” of time.

“Strong winds and hazardous gusts downed trees, branches and wires, currently affecting more than 368,000 of our 1.1 million customers across Long Island and the Rockaways,” representatives from the company wrote at the time. “We have already restored power to more than 36,000 customers.”

But by Wednesday morning, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, there were still 135,000 power outages, which Franklin Square resident Glen Victor, said made it difficult for him to work from home.

Jomy Jose, meanwhile, said he could not return home from work on Tuesday.

The storm shut down the Long Island Rail Road throughout the afternoon, and a message on the LIRR website stated, "LIRR service is suspended system-wide due to high winds and hazardous conditions caused by Tropical Storm Isais, including fallen trees, downed utility poles and power outages. We will resume service as soon as conditions safely allow."

Forecasters had predicted two to four inches of rain Tuesday afternoon, but Isaias stayed more to the west, striking New Jersey and upstate New York with heavy rain.

Long Island was lashed by the storm's outer rain and wind bands, reducing the precipitation total, and the storm hit during low-tide, reducing flooding in low-lying areas.