A powerful storm that unleashed deadly tornadoes across the South was expected to shake trees and snap power lines in New York and other cities along the U.S. East Coast.
Rainy gusts of up to 60 miles per hour were forecast to roar through Manhattan’s Central Park. Severe thunderstorms were also expected from Virginia to Florida, according to the National Weather Service.
“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.”
Tornadoes were reported Monday in North Carolina and South Carolina, the U.S. Storm Prediction Center said.
More than 1.3 million people in 17 states, including New York, were without power at about 10:30 a.m. eastern time, according to the website PowerOutage.US. The biggest outages were in the Carolinas.
With millions of people staying home, the outages are expected to 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 of snow fell last week, also faced a flood threat as warm rain washed 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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