Thunderstorms Sweep Across Eastern U.S., Killing At Least 2

A “complicated and active” storm system swept across the Eastern United States on Monday evening, bringing widespread thunderstorms with high winds that caused more than one million homes and businesses to lose power. At least two people were killed, but initial reports did not indicate widespread damage beyond downed trees.

At one point on Monday evening, more than 30 million people were under tornado watches from New York to Georgia. Airports across the region grounded flights, with the delays and cancellations rippling out more widely through the air traffic system.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • A 28-year-old man died after being struck by lightning in a parking lot in Florence, Ala., the local police said on Monday evening. And a 15-year-old was killed in Anderson, S.C., in the afternoon after a tree fell across two vehicles, according to local fire officials.

  • Tornado watches had been issued for Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia. A tornado hit the village of McGraw, about 30 miles south of Syracuse, N.Y., just after 5:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

  • Nearly 30 thunderstorm warnings were active as of 7:30 p.m. across the system, which stretched from Georgia to Canada. Warnings for excessive rainfall were also issued by Environment Canada for portions of Ontario and Quebec.

  • More than one million homes and businesses across the eastern United States had lost power as of 8 p.m., according to North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania led the outages, followed by Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia.

  • A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for portions of New Jersey and New York, including New York City, in effect until 1 a.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service said a couple of tornadoes, small hail and wind gusts up to 70 m.p.h. were possible.

  • Ahead of the storms, the United States Office of Personnel Management said federal offices in Washington would close by 3 p.m.

Lauren McCarthy and Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting.

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