Powerful Derecho Storm Leaves 3 Dead And Over 575,000 Without Power in Mid-Atlantic

At a Glance

  • At least three people died when a derecho left damage in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • More than half a million customers lost power in the storms.
  • Structures, trees and power lines were damaged by the powerful winds.

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Wind damage was widespread and killed at least three people as a powerful line of storms moved through the mid-Atlantic on Wednesday.

Wind gusts as high as 89 mph were reported in the region as the storms plowed through, leaving widespread tree damage in some Philadelphia suburbs. As the storms marched eastward, tree and power line damage was also reported in several parts of New Jersey.

The deaths occurred in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in separate incidents involving falling trees, according to NBC Philadelphia. Two people died in Lower Merion when trees fell on their vehicles, and a third victim was killed when a tree fell onto Philmont Country Club in Lower Moreland, the report added.

At the height of the outages, more than 575,000 customers lost power in the affected states, according to PowerOutage.us.

After an analysis of the storm damage reports, weather.com meteorologists concluded the damage was caused by a derecho, a large cluster of thunderstorms that most commonly forms in late spring and summer and causes widespread destruction to trees, power lines and sometimes structures.

From the Spanish word for “straight,” these windstorms leave wide, long areas of straight-line wind damage. The winds can be as strong as 60 to 100 mph or higher in extreme cases. They’re usually produced by one or more curved lines of thunderstorms known as a bow echo or squall line.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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