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DISASTERS

Official: 4 dead after homes collapse during storms in central New York; tornado possible

Officials in central New York say four people are dead and four homes have been destroyed in building collapses amid severe thunderstorms.

A spokesman for the Madison County emergency management office says the deaths were reported Tuesday evening in Smithfield, located between Syracuse and Utica. No details were immediately available.

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley did not identify the victims. He told The Post-Standard he was still notifying their families.

Riley said in a television interview that dogs are being used at the Smithfield site to search for additional victims and that neighbors are being interviewed.

National Weather Service meteorologist Joanne LaBounty says investigators will determine if a tornado touched down.

The emergency management office spokesman says there is widespread damage in the towns of Sullivan and Lenox, between Syracuse and Utica.

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