Damaging storms moving through east, south
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Damaging winds flattened trees and utility wires and knocked out power in parts of northern New England on Sunday, flights were delayed in New York City and a tornado touched down in South Carolina as the East Coast weathered the remnants of violent storms that claimed 13 lives in Oklahoma.
Heavy rain, thunderstorms, high winds and hail moved through sections of the Northeast on Sunday afternoon, knocking out power to more than 40,000 in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The National Weather Service issued a rare tornado warning as a line of thunderstorms raced through New Hampshire into western Maine. The weather service said a tornado warning was issued as radar indicated a possible tornado moving from Kingfield, Maine, to Bingham, Maine. The tornado was not immediately confirmed.
In northwestern South Carolina, a tornado knocked a home off its foundation and blew part of the roof off, said Taylor Jones, director of emergency management for Anderson County. Some trees were blown down and there was heavy rain, but no widespread damage. No injuries were reported.
“It was an isolated incident,” Jones said.
The weather service said thunderstorms and winds in excess of 60 mph in Vermont produced 1-inch-diameter hail and knocked down numerous trees and wires. In northern Maine, radar picked up a line of thunderstorms capable of producing quarter-sized hail and winds stronger than 70 mph. Forecasters warned of tornadoes.
The prediction for stormy weather in the New York City region delayed the start of the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game by 45 minutes and produced backups at major airports. But by just before 10 p.m., the delays that had been up to three hours had eased to 15 minutes or less at John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey. In Boston, there were delays up to 45 minutes, and outside Washington, delays were up to nearly two hours at Dulles Airport.
Patrick Herb, 34, was traveling from Dulles with his 1- and 3-year-old to his home in Wisconsin, and had his departure time for a connecting flight in Detroit moved back three times. He described the mood at Dulles as “frustration and fatigue.”
“The communication is honestly one of the most frustrating parts of travel,” Herb said. “I’m sort of pessimistic it will get off on time.”
In other parts of the South, thunderstorms, high winds and hail rolled through as part of a slow-moving cold front. Heavy rains could spawn flash flooding in some areas, the weather service said.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin toured damage in El Reno, about 30 miles from Oklahoma City. She said the death toll could rise as emergency workers continue searching flooded areas for missing residents.
The state Medical Examiner’s Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the death toll had risen to 13 from Friday’s EF3 tornado, which charged down a clogged Interstate 40 in the western suburbs. Among the dead were two children — an infant sucked out of the car with its mother and a 4-year-old boy who along with his family had sought shelter in a drainage ditch.
In Missouri, areas west of St. Louis received significant damage from an EF3 tornado Friday that packed estimated winds of 150 mph. In St. Charles County, at least 71 homes were heavily damaged and 100 had slight to moderate damage, county spokeswoman Colene McEntee said.
Northeast of St. Louis, the town of Roxana, Ill., also saw damage from an EF3 tornado. Weather service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said it wasn’t clear whether the damage in Missouri and Illinois came from the same twister or separate ones.
Five tornadoes struck the Oklahoma City metro area on Friday, the weather service said. Fallin said Sunday that 115 people were injured.
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