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The Journal Gazette

  • Men stand near buildings damaged by a storm in Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Powerful storms pounded the Northeast on Tuesday with torrential rain and marble-sized hail, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • A Freightliner tractor-trailer, which was overturned by strong winds associated with a thunderstorm, rests on a barrier on a bridge crossing the Susquehanna River at Danville, Pa., on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. The driver, Mariusz Jarosz, of Des Plaines, Illinois, suffered a hand injury and was transported to a hospital. (Larry Deklinski/The News-Item via AP)

  • A utility crew works to clear a roadway of storm debris in Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Powerful storms pounded the Northeast on Tuesday with torrential rain and marble-sized hail, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Debris from a storm-damaged building lies in the street in Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Powerful storms pounded the Northeast on Tuesday with torrential rain and marble-sized hail, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • This aerial view shows storm damage to Brookfield, Conn., on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Residents in the Northeast cleaned up Wednesday, a day after powerful storms pounded the region with torrential rain and marble-sized hail, leaving more then 200,000 homes and businesses without power. (John Woike/Hartford Courant via AP)

  • A man clears downed branches and debris on the grounds of Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Powerful storms pounded the Northeast on Tuesday with torrential rain and marble-sized hail, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • In this Tuesday, May 15, 2018 photo, storm clouds gather over New York city seen from the Hudson River. A line of strong storms pushed across New York City and badly disrupted the evening commute, stranding thousands of train riders. (AP Photo/Denis Paquin)

  • Downed trees and power lines block Main Street South in Bridgewater, Conn., after severe storms rolled through the area Tuesday, May 15, 2018.Residents in the Northeast cleaned up Wednesday, a day after powerful storms pounded the region with torrential rain and marble-sized hail, leaving more 200,000 homes and businesses without power. (John Woike/Hartford Courant via AP)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 8:40 pm

Cleanup underway a day after powerful storms pound Northeast

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Residents in the Northeast cleaned up Wednesday, a day after powerful storms pounded the region with torrential rain and marble-sized hail, leaving at least four people dead and more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power.

Connecticut officials said two people in New Fairfield and Danbury were killed Tuesday in separate accidents when trees fell on their trucks, including a woman whose 3-year-old child escaped injury. In New York, falling trees in Newburgh claimed the lives of an 11-year-old girl in a parked car and a woman who was driving.

More than 157,000 utility customers in New York were without power midday Wednesday.

In Connecticut, the state's two major utilities reported 88,500 customers without electricity Wednesday afternoon, down from a high of 120,000 outages. Gov. Dannel Malloy said damage was being assessed across the state for possible disaster declarations, with the most hard-hit areas being in southwestern Connecticut.

"There is a tremendous amount of damage," he said. "I think there are going to be a lot of people without power for days."

The storms downed trees and power lines across the region. Several lightning strikes led to structure fires in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Weather officials confirmed two tornadoes in Putnam County, an EF2 with peak winds of 110 mph and an EF1 with peak winds of 100 mph, and a third tornado in Newburgh in Orange County, an EF0 with peak winds of 85 mph. New York's Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. reported 78 mph wind gusts on Tuesday and about 1,000 lighting strikes per hour.

The National Weather Service said the strong thunderstorms created a small weather-generated tsunami off the New Jersey coast. Known as a meteotsunami, it resulted in fluctuating water levels for several hours. But there were no reports of damage from the abnormally high tides reported in areas from Perth Amboy in New Jersey to Delaware's Fenwick Island.

Roads in many towns were impassible and some schools canceled classes on Wednesday due to the damage.

Airlines also canceled and delayed flights in and out of the region.

In New York City on Tuesday evening, thousands of commuters were stranded in Grand Central Terminal after rail lines were temporarily suspended due to downed trees on the tracks. Concourses were packed with passengers waiting for service to resume.