Cleanup from deadly storm starts in Eastern states


SMITHFIELD, N.Y. (AP) — Residents in a number of Eastern states were cleaning up Wednesday, a day after
being hit by severe storms, including a tornado in central New York that killed four and left survivors
to pick through the debris from homes battered by winds of at least 100 mph.
In all, five people died in Tuesday’s strong wind and rain that blew down buildings, trees and utility
lines and left nearly 200,000 without power into Wednesday.
Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley said Kimberly Hillard, 35, and 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
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.
Injuries and damage from Tuesday’s fast-moving storms were not limited to New York state. In Maryland, a
child at a summer camp was killed by a falling tree. Three small tornadoes touched down in Ohio and at
least one other was sighted in Pennsylvania, where more than 300,000 lost power at the peak of the
Barbara Watson, the meteorologist leading the weather service survey team in New York, said the tornado’s
winds were at least 100 mph and certainly reached undetermined higher speeds to cause the damage seen in
“It’s definitely stronger than that,” she said. “It was definitely strong to do what it did.”
A key clue will be examining the construction of the house that was blown away, leaving only the
foundation, Watson said.
Garry Sprague lives across the street from Hillard’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 were scattered
around the lawn, while a hot tub sat amid the rubble.
Sprague’s home was untouched by the storm, 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 have damage from the same
round of storms, but added it was “nothing like what happened here in Madison County.”
“Madison County showed once again how strong a community can be,” Cuomo said during a news conference in
the town public works garage.
The scene of the devastation was the latest Cuomo has visited in his nearly four years in office, during
which the state has been hit by hurricanes, severe flooding and several damaging tornadoes. He
attributes the frequency of the natural disasters to “a pattern of extreme weather.”
“We don’t get tornadoes in New York, right?” he said. “Anyone will tell you that. But we do now.”
Scattered thunderstorms were forecast for upstate New York starting Wednesday afternoon, but no watches
or warnings were issued.
Nearly 44,000 utility customers in central and northern New York were still without power at midday
In Maryland, a tree fell at a summer camp during a strong thunderstorm, killing one child and injuring
six others. The children at the River Valley Ranch camp in Manchester were headed to a shelter when a
tree fell on them.
Also, severe thunderstorms spawned at least one tornado in Mercer county in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Early Wednesday, more than 123,000 across the state remained without power, including 66,000 in
Philadelphia and its suburbs. The NWS said possible tornadoes were also reported in Perry, Bedford and
Sullivan counties in central Pennsylvania.
The National Weather Service said three small tornadoes touched down in northeastern Ohio, causing minor
damage, as strong storms moved across the state.
The storm blew down two tent canopies at the Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick that had been
erected for Wednesday’s 150th anniversary event at the Civil War site, according to Chief Ranger Jeremy
Murphy, but the event was held as scheduled.
In New Jersey, nearly 15,000 homes and businesses remained without power Wednesday.

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