Severe Storms Tear Across Midwest and Northeast

The National Weather Service warned that multiple states were threatened by destructive weather, with most of the damage concentrated in the Midwest and Northeast.

By Debra Pangestu
|  Friday, Jul 27, 2012  |  Updated 7:08 AM EDT
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Incredible video of lightning crackling across the sky in Middle Island, N.Y. during the summer storm  on Thursday, July 26.

NBC 4 New York

Incredible video of lightning crackling across the sky in Middle Island, N.Y. during the summer storm on Thursday, July 26.

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Severe storms accompanied by rain and hail swept through the Midwest and Northeast regions of the country Thursday night, canceling hundreds of flights and leaving tens of thousands of people without power.

At least one person was dead after a line of intense thunderstorms touched down in the New York City tri-state area producing a large amount of wind damage, in a weather phenomenon called a derecho, NBC 4 NewYork reported. 

Lightning struck a church steeple in Brooklyn, which sent scaffolding collapsing over a 61-year-old man, who died in the incident.

In Elmira, N.Y., a tornado reportedly touched down shortly after 4 p.m., damaging a mall and a local country club, The Associated Press reported.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the storms knocked out power for over 90,000 utility customers across the state, while more than 10,000 customers suffered power outages in New Jersey.

Over 900 flights were grounded in the wake of the storm, with the highest number of cancellations taking place at LaGuardia Airport in New York, FlightAware reported.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center had issued a severe weather outlook warning of the risk for "widespread damaging winds" from Indiana and Ohio across Pennsylvania, southeast New York, into western Massachusetts and Connecticut.”

NBC Chicago reported that winds reaching 70 mph swept through the city around the same time a hangar wall collapsed at O’Hare International Airport, which left officials wondering whether the collapsed was tied to the storm.

American Electric Power of Ohio said that 51,000 customers were without power across the Buckeye State, NBC News reported.

In Pennsylvania, powerful winds and heavy rain brought down trees and power lines from Lehigh County to Philadelphia, leaving almost 17,000 customers in the dark and 10,700 without power, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.

Multiple lightning strikes were also reported in Connecticut. According to NBC Connecticut, thunderstorms and damaging winds began to roll in just after 7 p.m., leaving nearly 50 percent of Woodbury in the dark.

This isn't the first case of extreme weather to sweep the U.S. this summer.

Just a few weeks ago, a heat wave roasted much of the country, aggravating what was already the worst U.S. drought in more than five decades.
 

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