NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man was killed Tuesday when a tree fell and crushed his van as Tropical Storm Isaias socked the region with heavy winds and rain, authorities said.
The man, in his 60s, was sitting in the vehicle in Briarwood section of Queens when the massive Pin Oak came down on top of it around 1 p.m., police said.
It is believed to be the first New York death from the storm, which has halted commuter trains, closed bridges and knocked out power to more than 400,000 people in the city and surrounding areas. Meteorologists clocked wind gusts as strong as to 71 mph (115 kph) in the city and over 50 mph (80 kph) in the suburbs.
Service was suspended on the Staten Island Ferry and temporary barriers were set up to protect Wall Street and the famed South Street Seaport from potential flooding from the storm, which was centered about 60 miles west of the city near the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border at 2 p.m.
Outdoor subway service was stopped because of high winds and debris on tracks. All three commuter train services into and out of Manhattan — New Jersey Transit, Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road — suspended operations.
Roadways, including the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge linking Staten Island and Brooklyn, were closed.
Winds were not as strong to the north in the Hudson Valley on Tuesday afternoon, but gusts coupled with heavy rain brought down tree limbs and utility wires.