A powerful East Coast storm that hit Tuesday night left thousands of people without power ad five dead. Major clean-up operations are in store for Wednesday after severe storms and high winds wreaked havoc in several states.
The Syracuse, New York area was hit hard. Four deaths were reported in nearby Smithfield and four homes were demolished, Madison County Undersheriff John Ball said in a statement.
A young boy in Maryland was also killed, and eight others under the age of 15 were injured while trying to hide from branches and debris thrown about by the strong winds. In the Philadelphia region alone, 174,000 experienced loss of power, Pennsylvania utility PECO spokeswoman Jackie Thompson said.
The storms uprooted trees and tore down power lines across several counties in central New York, as the abnormal weather raged from the Ohio Valley and parts of New England and through the mid-Atlantic region, police and weather officials said.
CNN reported approximately 500,000 homes and businesses were without power on Tuesday, mostly in Pennsylvania and New York.
Mark Pellerito, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, New York, told Reuters the storms in and around Madison County “exhibited a lot of rotation”, and tornado warnings were issued in the evening.
Four people were killed from three collapsed homes and two other homes were destroyed in Madison County, the National Weather Service office in Binghamton said. The storms had cleared by Wednesday morning, they said.
Pellerito said ground teams would need to examine the area on Wednesday to determine conclusively whether property damage was caused by twisters or high winds.
The East Coast storms began brewing Tuesday afternoon in northeastern Ohio, where relatively weak twisters were reported before the storms spread eastward along a cold front and gathered strength, Pellerito said.
East Coast Storm Leaves Thousands Without Power and 5 Dead