Blustery Storm System Blows Into Northeast After Killing 8 in South

Severe storms in New England
Severe storms in New England   

A deadly storm that sparked dozens of tornadoes across the Southeast focused its fury on the Northeast early Thursday — leaving hundreds of thousands without power, canceling hundreds of flights and causing havoc on the roads.

At least eight people were killed from Louisiana to Virginia as at least 60 tornadoes were reported on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The storm raced east Wednesday night, with a brutal line of weather sweeping through New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Utility companies reported that more than 238,000 customers in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia and Maine were without power as of 5:30 a.m. ET.

Tornadoes expected as storm approaches the Gulf Coast
Tornadoes expected as storm approaches the Gulf Coast   

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and other parts of New England remained in its crosshairs early Thursday. Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued for Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket and Providence while parts of upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire were under flood warnings.

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By 4:30 a.m. ET, more than 290 flights had been canceled across the nation, around 90 of them at New York's LaGuardia Airport, according to FlightAware.

The storm caused more travel chaos in New York on Wednesday when semi-trailer truck overturned on the George Washington Bridge — delaying traffic for as long as 1½ hours.

The National Weather Service also briefly issued rare tornado watches for eastern parts of Pennsylvania and western parts of New Jersey.

Also on Wednesday, a tree fell onto a Metro-North train in New York's Westchester County, NBC New York reported. Delays of up to 20 minutes were reported on several lines.

Another tree crashed through the ceiling of a day-care center in Vineland, New Jersey, and came to rest in a baby room with four cribs, according to NBC Philadelphia. No children were inside at the time.

In Lancaster County, Philadelphia, police received reports that two 600-foot-long chicken houses had collapsed and some homes and a barn were damaged, the local 911 dispatcher told NBC News early Thursday.

No injuries were reported but some roads had been closed because of flooding in the area.

The storm was set to move out over the Atlantic Ocean later Thursday morning, but gusty winds of up to 50 mph would likely persist in its wake in Boston and other areas, according to Weather Channel Lead Forecaster Michael Palmer.

The storm was the third punch from a single angry weather system that was blamed for killing at least eight people from Louisiana to Virginia. Five of them died Wednesday:

  • Three people, including a 2-year-old boy, were killed when a large funnel cloud hit the town of Waverly, Virginia, 40 miles southeast of Richmond, at about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, state police said.
  • The body of a man who'd been missing since a funnel cloud destroyed his home was found Wednesday night in Appomattox County, Virginia, authorities said. The funnel cloud cut an 8- to 10-mile path of destruction through the area injuring seven other people, two of them seriously.
  • A tree fell onto a man a death in Darlington County, South Carolina, the county coroner told NBC News. He was identified as Michael James Sr.

Crews in Virginia, meanwhile, continued working early Thursday to rescue several people trapped in storm wreckage in Tappahannock, 40 miles southwest of Richmond, NBC station WWBT reported. State police said more than 20 people were being treated at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital.

Meanwhile, a winter storm had brought more than 10 inches of snow to parts of Illinois and Michigan, and more than half a foot to Arkansas, Missouri and Indiana by Wednesday night.

This weather was set to shift east, dumping up to six inches of snow in parts of the Great Lakes and interior New England through Thursday, according to The Weather Channel.