The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 31, 2013

2 dead after storms rake South, take aim at East



ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Kandi Cash trudged in rain through the splintered debris of her grandparents' home, hoping to salvage photos and other keepsakes after violent storms and tornadoes scoured the Southeast, leaving two people dead before the system advanced on the Northeast.

The demolished home was one of many in the Georgia city of Adairsville splintered by a massive storm front as it punched across the Southeast on Wednesday and then headed across the densely populated Eastern seaboard on Thursday.

The vast storm front stretching on a slanting north-south arc for hundreds of miles shattered homes and businesses around the Midwest and South with tornadoes and high winds earlier in the week. By Thursday, it had spread power outages from the Carolinas to Connecticut, triggered flash floods and forced water rescues in areas outside Washington, D.C.

In the Northeast, utilities reported power outages affecting 74,000 users in Connecticut, nearly 25,000 others in Rhode Island and some 24,000 in upstate New York. Authorities in Rhode Island said gusting winds blew the roof off a building in Central Falls. A wind gust of 63 mph was recorded in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York as temperatures plunged with the cold air mass creeping up behind the front. Forecasters said snowfall was possible from the Great Lakes to the Northeast — some of it lake-effect snow.

Near the nation's capital, emergency responders in Virginia's Loudoun County said they conducted water rescues early Thursday after some flash floods. One Virginia motorist was plucked from a van's rooftop after veering into a water-filled ravine, WTOP radio reported. Water rescues also were reported in the Washington suburb of Montgomery County, Md.

Some flooding also was reported in North Carolina, where 13,000 utility customers were reported without power Thursday after thunderstorms rolled toward the coast. West Virginia authorities reported about 9,000 without power and some secondary roads blocked by flood water Thursday.

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