One Dead as Storms Slam Midwest

Heavy rain floated cars, high wind tossed a trailer and hail grew to an inch and more as a storm system moved across the upper Midwest early Friday. The flooding was blamed for at least one traffic death.

The storm was thick with lightning, striking transformers, setting buildings on fire in western Michigan and temporarily zapping the radar at the weather service station in Grand Rapids (search).

Wind topped 70 mph, and rain fell at up to 3 inches an hour. About 22,000 homes and businesses lost power west of Detroit.

In Washtenaw County (search), cars were floating in 8 inches of water in underpasses, National Weather Service (search) meteorologist David Koehler said.

In the Detroit suburb of Wayne, high wind blew a construction trailer about 40 feet, causing some damage. No one was injured. One-inch hail fell near Milan, and there was an unconfirmed report of a tornado in Chelsea.

A flood watch remained Friday across central Wisconsin following a night of rain that brought large hail and flash flooding in the southeastern section of that state.

Six inches of water and mud spilled off a farm field onto a highway in Salem, and the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department had to tow a squad car out of Paddock Lake.

In Ohio, a woman died early Friday when the car she was driving slid off a road in York Township, northwest of Medina, state Highway Patrol Lt. Cory Davies said. Davies didn't have her name or age.

Rain was especially heavy in Lorain, Medina and Summit counties, with up to 3 inches falling in three hours early Friday.

At least two homes were flooded in Brunswick in Medina County, and schools there were closed Friday.

Elsewhere, lightning struck a 19th-century church in the Rochester, N.Y., suburb of Pittsford on Thursday, sparking a fire that heavily damaged the sanctuary.

A group was meeting in the building, but no one was injured.

"I heard a big boom, what sounded like a shot, then people were running out of the church," said Cindy Shuman, who was baptized and married at First Presbyterian Church. "This is just unbelievable."