A massive storm that weather experts predicted would slam Long Island with torrential rains and possible tornadoes failed to live up to advance billing.

What Long Islanders did get Thursday night was a strong band of thunderstorms and lightning that rattled nerves and disrupted power for some, but caused scant widespread damage.

"Considering what it could have been . . . it was fortunate the storm weakened as it approached the Island," said Dan Hofman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton.

Gusts in Farmingdale reached 30 mph, far from the 70 mph projected, he said, and the storm dumped a quarter of an inch of rain there, not the 1 to 2 inches per hour a weather statement had warned earlier was possible.

Not everyone was unscathed: 4,747 LIPA customers were affected by power outages as of 10 Thursday night, and six passengers on an Oyster Bay-bound Long Island Rail Road train had to wait at least an hour for a bus shuttle when a downed tree stopped the train east of Locust Valley.

"Could it have been worse? Of course, but that won't help people out tonight," said LIRR spokeswoman Marjorie Anders, who said the railroad was experiencing delays elsewhere due to "significant weather issues" and was sending emergency crews out overnight.

"Morning rush hour should be no problem" Friday, she said.

Lightning may have hit a Middle Island house, where a man, 18, reported feeling a shock, Suffolk police said. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, police said.

One tree that fell on Irma Avenue in Port Washington before the storm cut power to 1,700 customers, said LIPA spokesman Mark Gross. He said people there were expected to begin getting power back about 9:30 p.m.

Some of the strongest gusts appeared to have hit a buoy in the middle of the Long Island Sound, the National Weather Service said.

Many of the power outages were in Hempstead Town, according to the LIPA website.

Report outages by calling 800-490-0075 or lipower.org /stormcenter, Gross said. "You shouldn't assume we know about your outage," he said.

Some flights arriving at LaGuardia and Kennedy airports faced delays of more than 90 minutes, according to the FederalAviation Administration. Some departures were also affected, and the FAA advised travelers to check with their airlines Friday.

Showers and thunderstorms are possible Friday and Saturday before sunshine returns Sunday, the weather service said. Temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s are expected throughout, with overnight lows dipping into the 60s.


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