Storms carve path of destruction in East
SMITHFIELD, N.Y. — Residents of this rural central New York town on Wednesday picked through debris from homes battered by a deadly tornado, and utility crews worked to restore power in several Eastern states hit by severe storms.
In all, five people died on Tuesday as strong thunderstorms blew down buildings, trees and utility lines and left hundreds of thousands without power into Wednesday.
Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley said Kimberly Hilliard, 35; her 4-month-old daughter, Paris Newman; Virginia Warner, 70; and Arnie Allen, 53, were killed in the rural town of Smithfield, between Utica and Syracuse.
He said four homes were destroyed and numerous others were damaged, with Allen's two-story home blown hundreds of feet before it landed on an unoccupied house.
In Manchester, Md., a tree fell at the River Valley Ranch summer camp, killing one child and injuring six headed to a shelter.
Tornadoes touched down in Ohio and Pennsylvania, too.
Barbara Watson, the meteor-ologist leading the National Weather Service survey team in New York, said the Smithfield tornado's wind was at least 100 mph and certainly reached undetermined higher speeds.
Gary M. Sprague lives across the street from Hilliard's property, where three vehicles were partially buried in some of the wreckage from the torn-apart house. Wood from the home's framing and walls was scattered around the lawn, and a hot tub sat amid the rubble.
Sprague's home was untouched, but he said he knew immediately afterward that things were bad at his neighbor's.
“If they were in it, they had to be gone,” he said. “You can only assume the worst at that point. This is horrible, just horrible.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said several other central and northern New York counties were damaged but added it was “nothing like what happened here in Madison County.”
Scattered thunderstorms were forecast for upstate New York on Wednesday afternoon, but no watches or warnings were issued. About 35,000 utility customers across New York were without power in the evening.
Forecasters confirmed that at least two tornadoes hit Pennsylvania, where more than 350,000 customers lost power at the peak of the storms. The weather service said a tornado touched down Tuesday evening near New Albany in the northeastern part of the state. The other was in Hoagland in Mercer County. As of Wednesday evening, more than 45,000 homes and businesses were without power in Pennsylvania, more than half of them in the Philadelphia suburbs.
The National Weather Service said three small tornadoes touched down in northeastern Ohio, causing minor damage. Utilities in the Baltimore-Washington area reported about 34,000 power outages.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Researchers find new, elusive bird species
- Experts: Convictions against police officers will be tough to win in Baltimore case
- White House mum on hack of computer system by Russia last fall
- New York City officer critically shot; hunt under way for suspects
- Rift invites talk of Florida split
- Prosecutor charges 6 Baltimore officers in Gray’s death
- Utah outpost stands in for Mars
- Shellfish farmers’ planned use of pesticide under fire
- Riot erupts in Baltimore after funeral for man hurt in police custody
- 6 Baltimore police officers charged in death of Freddie Gray
- GOP presidential candidates decry potential nuke deal with Iran to Republican Jewish Coalition