A tornado plowed through two suburban areas of Philadelphia, killing three people and injuring more than 30 others, authorities said.
At least 15 homes were destroyed and 15 heavily damaged when the storm struck a housing development in Limerick Township, about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia, just before midnight Wednesday, officials said. Seven other homes were severely damaged in neighboring Chester County, where the storm hit first.
The development is about 1 1/2-miles from PECO Energy Co.'s Limerick nuclear power plant, but there was no damage reported there, Montgomery County Public Safety Director Jim Giannini said.
The storm knocked out power to 80,000 homes in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but most customers had electricity back by Thursday.
Another tornado touched down in central Delaware near Harrington, where several thousand people were attending the state fair.
"It was incredibly frightening," police officer Terry Helsel said. But no injuries were reported.
Scores of roads littered with debris remained closed Thursday in both Pennsylvania counties. High-tension wires knocked loose by the storm crackled as they hit roads and buildings.
"We're instructing people just to avoid Limerick Township," Limerick police Sgt. William Schlichter said. "It's a total disaster."
The heaviest damage appeared to be in a rural cluster of relatively new homes where Giannini said the three bodies were found. They were identified only as a man and woman found outside and a girl found in a home.