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Powerful winds topple trees, prompt power outages and delay commutes in tri-state

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NEW YORK – Hundreds of Con Edison customers are without power, commuters are facing service disruptions, and downed trees have caused a train car derailment amid a wind advisory warning of gusts up to 50 mph across the tri-state.

A wind advisory is in effect, warning of northeast winds ranging from 20 to 30 mph with gusts around 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The advisory is set to expire at 6 p.m., and predicts the strongest winds will occur during the morning hours and gradually weaken throughout the day.

More than 1,000 Con Ed customers in the NYC area were without power as of noon, according to the department’s online outage map. The majority are located in Brooklyn, and show an estimated restoration time of 11 p.m.

Most of the outages are weather related, either due to Monday’s high winds or the weekend’s wet weather – as snow and road salt can seep underground, damaging systems, a Con Ed spokesman said.

High winds are also blamed for toppling trees, including one that fell into the path of a Metro-North passenger train, causing a car to derail in Westchester County, and in the Bronx, another large tree to crash onto a parked car.

In Queens, the roof of a gas station nearly blew off.

High winds have also slowed the mid-day commute.

In addition to the derailment, Metro-North Railroad is experience numerous delays, including the suspension of its Harlem line due to fallen trees and “necessary track work” near White Plains, where gusts got up to 52 mph, according to the weather service.

Multiple Long Island Rail Road crossing gate arms were damaged by high winds, causing scattered, system-wide delays.

The B and Q trains temporarily ran with delays due to debris on tracks near Church Avenue.

And in New Jersey, NJTransit crews worked to remove another down tree in Bernardsville-Gladstone, causing the temporary suspension of service.

The weather service warns drivers to proceed with caution, and pedestrians to be weary of flying debris.

The New York City Department of Buildings issued a warning to builders, contractors, crane operators and property owners to secure their construction sites, buildings and equipment due to the high-powered winds.

They will performing spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city. If sites are not secured, the department says it will issue violations and stop work orders.