Workers cut a downed tree on Oxford Blvd Friday morning,...

Workers cut a downed tree on Oxford Blvd Friday morning, the day after the storm blew through Great Neck. (June 25, 2010) Credit: William Perlman

LIPA crews are working for a third day to restore power to thousands of mainly northwest and central Nassau customers hit hard by a severe thunderstorm Thursday that downed trees and power lines, officials said.

The Long Island Power Authority reported 11,039 outages Islandwide Saturday morning. That was down from about 25,000 outages Thursday, according to LIPA outage tracking charts.

The authority said in a Twitter message that it had restored power to 86 percent of the customers impacted, and urged customers to report downed power lines by calling 1-800-490-0075.

Residents without power and sweltering LIPA workers are getting no break from Mother Nature, with temperatures forecast to stay near 90 today and tomorrow, under humid conditions.

And the National Weather Service says there's a chance of more thunderstorms Sunday and Monday.

The hardest-hit areas Thursday were the Town of North Hempstead and Great Neck, officials said.The storm raced - and raged - across a good portion of the North Shore in Nassau at about 2:45 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. It battered the area with rain and hail, and wind gusts as high as 74 mph were recorded in Great Neck and 62 mph at LaGuardia Airport. Hail as large as 1.75 inches in diameter was reported near the Queens border and parts of Nassau.

Hempstead Town officials and others from neighboring villages set up a command center at Great Neck's Vigilant Fire Company on Middle Neck Road, said Collin Nash, a spokesman for the town.

Representatives from the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, LIPA and surrounding villages worked to coordinate efforts to respond to community needs, Nash said.

With trees down all over Great Neck, Nash said it was "a crazy situation."

The town also set up a cooling center at Clinton Martin Park in New Hyde Park for residents without electrical power. Nash said emergency generators powered air conditioners at the park's recreation center and bottled water was also distributed.

"Throughout the night, we had highway crews out trying to clear major roads so fire, ambulance and LIPA crews could get through," Nash said. "We had about 50 pieces of equipment and 100 workers clearing trees off wires and roadways."

Most of the fallen trees were north of Old Mill Road, between Middle Neck Road and Bayview Avenue, Nash said.

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