ANNANDALE, Va. – Severe storms that downed power lines and trees across a large swath of the country Wednesday were blamed for three deaths.
A woman died Wednesday afternoon when a tree fell on a vehicle in Annandale, a Washington, D.C., suburb, a fire department spokesman said.
Earlier Wednesday, authorities in West Virginia recovered the body of a 20-year-old man swept away while trying to drive his truck through high water. Gov. Joe Manchin declared a state of emergency in at least 15 West Virginia counties after flooding and mudslides closed numerous roads. Some places reported more than 3 inches of rain.
In storm-weary central Indiana, state police said a woman died Wednesday morning when she drove her car into rushing flood waters. A wave of thunderstorms that began Tuesday caused widespread flash flooding, with 5 inches of rain reported overnight in some areas.
A meteorologist in Virginia said storms in the mid-Atlantic were part of the same weather system that moved through the Midwest and Ohio Valley earlier Wednesday.
Residents were cleaning up in tiny Moscow, Ind., a community of about 80 residents 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis battered Tuesday by a tornado that destroyed one house, damaged four or five others and dumped a historic covered bridge into a river. State officials said another house was destroyed in Greene County, and aerial coverage showed some rural farm houses had been leveled.
One woman was in critical condition after being impaled in the upper chest by a 3-inch-diameter tree limb, said Charles Smith, chief of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department, who helped rescue her from storm debris.
"Her house was gone, along the side of the river bank. There's nothing left of it," he said. "She didn't talk, but she was moaning."
Another tornado damaged 40 buildings at the Indiana National Guard's Camp Atterbury, about 25 miles south of Indianapolis. Two soldiers suffered minor injuries as they sought shelter.
In the mid-Atlantic, hundreds of thousands of people lost power and train service was disrupted just ahead of rush hour Wednesday.
In Chesapeake Beach, Md., Mayor Gerald Donovan said one person was injured after an apparent tornado touched down and ripped the roofs and siding off several homes.
"It scared a lot of people in our town," Donovan told WRC-TV. "We're all very grateful more damage wasn't done."
In Dunn Loring, Va., the roof was blown off a house and a tree fell on it, Fairfax County fire department spokesman Lt. Raul Castillo said. High winds were also blamed for the collapse of a crane at a steel mill site near Baltimore. No one was injured.
Funnel clouds were reported in other parts of the region.
The National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., had not confirmed whether any tornadoes touched down, said meteorologist Brandon Peloquin. He said teams would likely go out later to assess the damage.
In Ohio, weather service meteorologist Andy Hatzos said countless funnel clouds had been reported by early Wednesday, but no tornadoes had been confirmed.
Rain fell at a rate of 2 inches an hour in parts of Ohio.
Farther west, in Kansas City, Kan., a fuel distribution center partly reopened Wednesday, a day after a spectacular fire that started when a lightning strike ignited a storage tank. No one was hurt.