Wind gusting to 50 mph knocked out power to thousands, damaged buildings and felled trees across the Northeast on Wednesday, killing at least one person.

A 50-year-old farm worker was killed in suburban Philadelphia (search) when he was struck by a falling tree, police said. The man's name was not immediately released.

The blustery winds, which accompanied a strong cold front moving through the region, also may have caused a small aircraft in northern New Jersey to slide off the runway after landing and hit several trees, authorities said. No one was injured.

Thousands of people were without power across the Northeast as the wind snapped utility poles and knocked down electrical lines. There were no serious injuries reported.

The winds also tore off part of a gymnasium roof at an elementary school in Edison, N.J. (search), and loosened a plastic cover on the state Capitol dome in Charleston, W.Va. (search).

In Philadelphia, construction materials blew off the top of a high-rise building, damaging a car. Downed trees also blocked roads and caused scattered power outages that forced two schools to close.

All Baltimore County public schools closed early because of power outages.

"It's just unbelievable," said Hernshaw, W.Va., resident Jay Kirk, whose yard was strewn with Christmas decorations knocked loose by the wind. "It just sounded like a tornado, just an unbelievable sound. I never heard anything like it before."