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New storms topple trees after outbreak that killed 2, spawned twisters

As powerful storms, with lightning and high winds, ripped through the Northeast, the Twittersphere thundered with users uploading pictures. TODAY's Natalie Morales reports.

Severe winds knocked down trees in areas from Michigan to Georgia on Friday, a day after a line of severe storms tore through parts of the Midwest and Northeast, killing two people, cutting power to tens of thousands and spawning a tornado that damaged property in Elmira, N.Y. 

A second tornado touched down near Montrose, Pa., on Thursday, but no major damage was reported there.

With the new storms only getting started Friday afternoon, key cities in the danger area are Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville, Washington D.C., Roanoke and Raleigh, the National Weather Service stated. While describing the risk as slight, it added that any storms could be strong enough to blast 60 mph gusts and dump large hail.

Most of the initial reports of wind damage were in the Carolinas, Indiana and West Virginia, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

In Washington, any rain would provide some relief to recent high temperatures. Thursday saw 100 degrees --the seventh day at 100 or above this month, and a record for the most days above 100 for any month in D.C., NBCWashington.com reported


In Elmira, thousands were still without power Friday morning after a twister tore through the town Thursday around 4 p.m. ET, the Elmira Star Gazette reported.

Trees fell on many homes and cars, while at least one business lost part of its second story to the tornado. The town was alerted to the possibility of a tornado a half hour before it hit, and no injuries were reported.

Adam Fenster / Reuters

Gary Dunning surveys the tornado damage to his business in Elmira, N.Y., on Thursday.

More than 85,000 homes and businesses in Pennsylvania were still without power Friday morning after Thursday's storms, while about 34,000 in New York and 13,000 in Ohio also had no electricity -- and thus no air conditioning for the sweltering summer heat.

In New York City, a 61-year-old man in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill neighborhood was killed when scaffolding at a church fell on him as the storm passed through around 8 p.m. ET, NBCNewYork.com reported

"It's possible that lightning struck the top of the roof, causing some bricks to fall on top of the scaffolding," a police spokesman said. 

In Genesee, Pa., a woman camping was killed when she took refuge in her car and a tree then fell on it. 

The storms also disrupted air travel, forcing the cancellation of over 900 flights on Thursday, according to FlightAware.com, a flight tracking website. The highest number of cancellations was at New York's LaGuardia Airport. 

Flight delays were also reported at airports in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., according to the FAA flight monitoring website.

As bad as it was, Thursday's outbreak was nowhere as damaging as the June 29 storms that tracked over 600 miles from Indiana to the Mid-Atlantic and left millions without power.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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