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Weather service to probe if tornado hit Big Apple

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Residents, utility crews and railroad workers cleaned up debris Friday after a brief but fierce storm barreled through New York City, tearing up trees, stripping roofs from homes, disrupting train service and killing at least one person.

The National Weather Service planned to spend the day investigating whether a tornado touched down Thursday evening during the storm. Tornado warnings had been issued for Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens.

Crews at Long Island Rail Road, the nation's largest commuter rail line, worked through the night to clear tracks of fallen trees, which caused temporary service suspensions into the early-morning rush Friday.

About 29,000 customers, mostly in Queens, were without power at midmorning Friday, Consolidated Edison said. That's down from a high of 37,000.

A woman was killed when a tree fell on a parked car in Queens. Iline Levakis, 30, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene and her 60-year-old husband suffered minor injuries, police said.

"She was a really sweet girl," said Peter Markos of the Palace Diner in Flushing, Queens, which he once owned with the woman's husband, Billy.

Markos said the couple had been married about four years and lived in Pennsylvania, where Billy Levakis operated a restaurant in Lemoyne.


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