Storm cuts through Great Neck, downing trees and sparking wire fires

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Vigilant Fire Company responded to a number of calls, including a mutual aid call in Port Washington. (Photo from Vigilant Fire Company Facebook page)
Vigilant Fire Company responded to a number of calls, including a mutual aid call in Port Washington. (Photo from Vigilant Fire Company Facebook page)

Lightning cracked the sky as walls of water fell, with thunder cutting into at least one conversation on a stormy, but not always dark Wednesday night.

“Is that thunder?” Great Neck Plaza Village Clerk-Treasurer Pat O’Byrne asked as booms began to dot the village’s Wednesday night meeting. “It almost sounds like a car crash.”

The thunderstorm would cut through Great Neck, bringing a flurry of emergency calls from fires, fallen trees and burning power lines, according to local volunteer fire departments. There were no reported injuries.

Great Neck is still dealing with power outages following Wednesday night's storm. (Photo from PSEG Long Island)
Great Neck is still dealing with power outages following Wednesday night’s storm. (Photo from PSEG Long Island)

There were also more than 20 power outages still affecting more than 200 customers on the Great Neck peninsula as of 2:30 p.m., according to PSEG Long Island. The North Shore currently makes up the brunt of nearly 100 active outages.

On its Facebook page, Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company described the storm as “one for the books.” In less than an hour, Vigilant members responded to seven alarms for house fires, a fallen tree and burning wires.

“Remember, the safest thing to do during big storms is to stay inside,” the post reads. “We are happy to report that there were no injuries in our district from last night’s storm.”

They also provided mutual aid to Port Washington for a house fire there.

Great Neck Alert Fire Company Fire Chief James Neubert, whose company primarily handles the northern half of the Great Neck peninsula, said the company also received seven calls during that time.

The calls were for fallen trees, flooding in a house, carbon monoxide, and burning wires, Neubert said, but there were no reported injuries.

“A lot of times when we have those thunderstorms come through, we get busy,” Neubert said, but added that this was small compared to the microburst several years ago, which he estimated spawned hundreds of calls.

Neubert noted that it’s “always good” to keep extra supplies of medicine, water and non-perishable food items “if you’re expected to be out for quite awhile.”

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