Nearly 200,000 homes and businesses were still in the dark Tuesday afternoon after ferocious storms pummeled much of the Eastern US – leaving two people dead, homes without roofs and drivers stranded for hours.
A 28-year-old man died Monday after he was struck by lightning in a parking lot in Florence, Alabama, police said. Authorities have not identified him.
In South Carolina, 15-year-old Evan Christopher Kinley was killed when a falling tree struck him outside his grandparents’ home in Anderson County, the county coroner’s office said.
In Westminster, Maryland, dozens of people were trapped in cars for up to five and a half-hours Monday after severe weather toppled power lines onto the vehicles on Route 140, state police said.
Drivers waited for hours while crews worked to de-energize the power lines to get them out.
Jeffrey Campbell was on his way home from work when a utility pole came down on vehicles in front of him, trapping him for hours with live wires on the ground on either side of his truck, he said. The wire to his right took out his exterior mirror, he said.
“It’s just poles coming down one after the other,” he said.
Eventually, 33 adults and 14 children were rescued. No injuries were reported, police said.
Another round of storms Tuesday
The storms that hammered Philadelphia all the way down to Atlanta on Monday are long gone. But, when considering all levels of risk, 40 million people in the Plains, the Southeast and New England are now at risk for severe weather Tuesday.
Very large hail, strong winds and a tornado are possible in the confined area of greatest risk in the central High Plains. Areas of the Southeast not affected by Monday’s storms, including southern portions of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, will also face a damaging wind threat Tuesday.
About 10 million people in New England were under flood watches Tuesday. Eastern Massachusetts, including Boston was deluged with intense rain Tuesday morning when 1 to 3 inches fell in just a few hours. Some storms in the area turned severe, producing damaging wind gusts and at least one tornado, the National Weather Service office in Boston confirmed Tuesday.
Farther north, parts of Maine are under a Level 3 of 4 risk for excessive rainfall and flash flooding.
Widespread damage and no power
The fierce storms Monday left neighborhoods littered with debris and hundreds of thousands of people in the dark.
As of Tuesday afternoon, just under 200,000 homes and businesses remained without power across 12 Eastern states but the majority of outages were confined to Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina, according to PowerOutage.us. For a time Monday evening, more than 1 million customers were without power as a result of damaging storms.
And large, dangerous hail pummeled parts of Virginia. In Caroline County, hail the size of a grapefruit (4.75 inches) was reported, the Storm Prediction Center said. That’s the largest hail reported in the state of Virginia since 2002, according to the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia.
The storms also disrupted travel Monday. More than 8,600 flights within, into or out of the US were delayed Monday and more than 1,700 were canceled, according to FlightAware.com. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 300 flights had been canceled and more than 2,900 delayed.
A storm ‘pretty much tore up this little town’
Brutal storms also hit the Midwest on Monday, including Indiana – where EF-1 tornado damage was found in Dubois and Orange counties, the National Weather Service office in nearby Louisville said.
It’s not clear whether the damage was caused by one longer tornado or multiple tornadoes, the weather service said.
It could take several days to restore power in Paoli, officials said.
“Just a lot of heartbreak for local Paoli,” he said.