About 75,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast were without power early Tuesday after a line of strong storms brought soaking rain and damaging winds to the region.
More than 65 million people from the mountains of North Carolina to Cape Cod, Massachusetts – including Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York – were under wind advisories overnight as forecasters warned gusts of up to 50 mph were possible, raising the risk of tree damage and dangerous road conditions.
Gusts of 60 to 70 mph were reported in Pennsylvania and New York, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said, with 350 reports of damaging winds in the region late Sunday through Monday night.
Hail was also falling in some areas, though the severe conditions that spawned deadly tornadoes Saturday in Iowa have faded, Guy noted.
About 36,000 customers in New York were without power mid-morning Tuesday, according to PowerOutage.us. Some 25,000 outages were reported in Pennsylvania, with more than 12,000 reported in New Jersey. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine also report outages.
“The rain with this system was quite heavy and saturated the ground.” Guy said. “Downed trees are expected with the strong winds, leading to power outages and travel delays.”
As the storm system moves out of the region, colder temperatures will settle in, the National Weather Service said. Washington, DC’s record high on Monday of 80 degrees is due to drop by nearly 40 degrees by Wednesday. And New York City, which was 74 degrees on Monday, will be just 47 on Tuesday.
Arctic air diving south from Canada will give the region more winter weather in coming days.
7 killed in weekend tornadoes
The gusting winds in the Northeast come as parts of Iowa are cleaning up damage left behind by deadly tornadoes over the weekend.
Several tornadoes touched down Saturday near Des Moines, killing seven people, including two children, and impacting dozens of homes. In Madison County, six people were killed, Emergency Management Director Diogenes Ayala said. The oldest victim was 72 years old and the youngest was 2.
The tornado was an EF-4, which means it had maximum sustained winds of 170 mph. It was on the ground for more than 90 minutes, and its path stretched nearly 70 miles.
It was the first EF-4 tornado in Iowa since October 2013 and is the second-longest tornado path since 1980, behind only a 117-mile path on June 7, 1984, in southern Iowa.
“This is, I think, the worst anyone has seen in quite a long time,” Ayala said Sunday, noting about 52 homes across 13 miles were damaged or destroyed in Madison County.
A person in a rural area near the Lucas County city of Chariton was also killed, an official said.
Overall, there were just under 40 reports of tornadoes over the weekend, according to CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen. Most were reported Saturday in Iowa, though there were others in Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin and Indiana.
In all, there were more than 200 reports of severe weather – including tornadoes, damaging winds and hail – in more than a dozen states, Hennen said.
The Chariton tornado is also estimated to have been an EF3, with winds of 138 mph, and was on the ground for more than 16 miles, according to preliminary weather service surveys. Other tornadoes that touched down include an EF2 with estimated winds of 122 mph near Leon, which was on the ground for 19 miles, the weather service said.
An EF1 tornado with 110 mph winds occurred in Vinton; an EF1 with 100 mph winds struck in West Lake Park; and an EF-0 tornado also impacted West Lake Park with 65 mph winds, according to the weather service.