POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Residents in the Northeast cleaned up Wednesday, a day after powerful storms went through the region, leaving at least three people dead and more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power.
The deaths in New York and Connecticut occurred when trees fell on cars.
An 11-year-old girl was killed in Newburgh, N.Y., when a tree fell on a car she was in.
The girl and "her mother had arrived home and were unloading the car when the wind caused a large tree to topple onto the vehicle," police said in a statement. The girl "was extricated from the vehicle by the fire department" and taken to the hospital where she died. The mother suffered minor injuries.
Police were withholding the girl's identity and not releasing any further information. However, the Newburgh school district was notified of her death.
May 15: Severe storms lash Northeast
A man was killed in Danbury, Conn., when a tree fell on his truck, said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. A teenager also suffered serious injuries when he was hit by the roof of a dugout on a baseball field, Boughton said.
The storm brought thunder, rain, lightning, winds up to 70 mph and hail and possibly even a tornado to the region.
The National Weather Service said it would investigate reports of potential tornadoes in New York and Connecticut starting Wednesday.
Investigators will look at tell-tale signs, such as a narrow path of damage and leaf splatter.
More than 148,000 utility customers in New York were without power early Wednesday. In Connecticut, the state's two major utilities reported 90,000 without electricity, most in the western part of the state. An official said it could take days to get the power back on.
“It was quite explosive,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Ingrid Amberger, noting reports of trees coming down on cars and houses. “They were very powerful storms that moved very quickly.”
Southern Dutchess County in New York was among the areas hit hardest.
Several lightning strikes led to structure fires in New Jersey and Massachusetts. New York’s Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. reported 78 mph wind gusts Tuesday and about 1,000 lighting strikes per hour.
Officials from Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. said efforts to restore power to the region are expected to continue into Thursday, if not longer. There is no estimated restoration time, according to the utility's website.
In New York's Lower Hudson Valley, which includes Putnam and Westchester counties, more than 57,000 customers were without power Wednesday morning.
Workers were scrambling to clear downed trees and repair damaged power lines throughout the area.
In New Jersey, fewer than 30,000 customers were without power Wednesday morning.
There were no reported fatalities in New Jersey, but downed trees damaged property in a number of areas, according to New Jersey State Police.
In Passaic, N.J., the roof blew off a nursery school while several students and a teacher were still inside. No one was injured as the winds that approached 70 mph tore the roof off Children's Day Nursery and Family Center, said Deputy Police Chief Christopher Storzillo.
In Bloomfield, N.J., Alan Slaughter, a resident of the township for 32 years, was awaiting a service Wednesday to remove a tree that had slammed into the side of his home the evening prior.
"Once I got over the shock of hearing the noise, I called my insurance company and called a tree service," said Slaughter.
Roads in many towns were impassible and some schools canceled classes Wednesday because of the damage.
Airlines also canceled and delayed flights in and out of the region.
Jack Howland, Nina Schutzman write for the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal; Matt Spillane writes for The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News; Kaitlyn Kanzler writes for The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record. Contributing: The Associated Press; Joshua Jongsma, Tariq Zehawi and Matt Kadosh, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record; Christopher J. Eberhart, The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News. Follow Jack Howland, Nina Schutzman, Matt Spillane and Kaitlyn Kanzler on Twitter: @jhowl04, @PoJoNSchutzman, @MattSpillane and @KaitlynKanzler8