Deadly Storm Buffets N.Y. and East Coast After Lashing South

(Bloomberg) -- A powerful storm that unleashed deadly tornadoes across the South is now shaking trees and snapping power lines in New York and other cities along the U.S. East Coast.

Rainy gusts of as much as 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour were forecast to roar across New York while severe thunderstorms are expected from Virginia to Florida, according to the National Weather Service. Tornado watches, meaning the deadly storms can occur, have been posted from New Jersey to Virginia, including for Washington.

“A few thousand feet off the ground, the winds will be hurricane force,” said Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. “We are going to have some concern for power outages and downed trees. With so many people working remotely, that is going to be a concern.”

Deadly Storm Buffets N.Y. and East Coast After Lashing South

Tornadoes touched down Monday in North Carolina and South Carolina, and reports of toppled trees and damaged buildings stretched from Long Island to Florida, the U.S. Storm Prediction Center said. Wind gusts reaching 41 mph were sweeping La Guardia and 37 mph at John F. Kennedy airports.

Close to 1.3 million people in 20 states, including New York, were without power at about 1 p.m. local time, according to the website PowerOutage.US. The biggest outages were in the Carolinas.

With millions of people staying home, the outages will impact more of the workforce than normal because most families don’t have backup generators, unlike office buildings.

While many flights are canceled because of the virus lockdown, planes operating in the eastern U.S. will have a hard time because of tremendous turbulence, Orrison said.

On Sunday, tornadoes killed at least 18 people in Mississippi and elsewhere in the South, the Weather Channel reported.

Northern New England, where 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow fell last week, also faces a flood threat as warm rain washes a lot of that away through the course of the day, Orrison said. Streams in the mountain valleys of New Hampshire and Maine may turn to torrents as the warm wind and rain sweeps over.

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