Severe storms, possibly bringing some tornadoes, struck across several states, leaving five dead including a toddler in upstate New York and a child attending a Christian summer camp in Maryland, officials said Wednesday.
About 200,000 customers remained without power after storms tore through parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic region. At the peak on Tuesday, officials estimated that as many as 300,000 were without electricity.
Tornadoes were reported in Mercer County in northwestern Pennsylvania. Possible tornadoes were also reported in Perry, Bedford and Sullivan counties in central Pennsylvania and in northeastern Ohio, according to the National Weather Service. Minor damage was reported and the weather service will investigate if tornadoes were involved.
In Smithfield, a town between Utica and Syracuse in central New York, at least four homes were destroyed and others were damaged by the severe weather, according to Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley. Dogs were being used to help in the search for victims, Riley told reporters in a televised interview.
“We're just picking up parts of the house to see if anybody is underneath them,” the sheriff said.
A mother and her 4-month-old baby were among the four people killed in the powerful storm Tuesday night, Smithfield town Supervisor Rick Bargabos told the Syracuse Post-Standard. Bargabos said the other two victims were a relative of the mother and an unrelated neighbor. The dead lived in three separate houses, he said.
“The houses are obliterated,” Bargabos told the newspaper. “There is not a piece of framework together.”
“Nobody in the county has ever had anything like this,” Bargabos said.
In Maryland, one child died and eight more were injured when a storm struck a pavilion at the River Valley Ranch camp in Carroll County, according to officials. About 114 children, between 7 and 12 years old, were present.
“Our staff noticed a storm that was quickly approaching and immediately began moving the campers from the pavilion to the nearest secure building, Hilltop Hall,” Executive Director Jon Bisset said in a statement posted on the camp’s website. “The storm came upon them in a very quick and severe manner before all the children reached the building. The intense storm knocked down numerous tree’s and limbs in a matter of seconds and nine children were injured. I am sad to say that one of the children died from his injuries. Please pray for all of these children and their families.”
Utilities were still repairing downed lines on Wednesday.
Nearly 56,000 utility customers in central and northern New York were without power. More than 123,000 were without power in Pennsylvania and another 15,000 were without electricity in New Jersey.
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