Several people killed as strong storms sweep through East

Last Updated Jul 9, 2014 11:53 AM EDT

Severe storms packing strong winds, heavy thunderstorms and a tornado killed five people and left tens of thousands of customers without power as it moved through the Northeast Tuesday evening, authorities said.

In New York, four people were confirmed dead after storms hit the town of Smithfield, southeast of Syracuse, reports CBS Syracuse affiliate WTVH-TV, citing the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

In Maryland, a tree collapsed during a storm at a summer camp, killing one child and injuring eight others, CBS Baltimore reports.

The storms in central New York destroyed at least four homes and left many more damaged, and many trees and power lines were knocked down, WTVH-TV reports. Late Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado destroyed the homes.

Mark Pellerito, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Binghamton, N.Y., told CBS News early Wednesday that the deaths occurred in several homes and other structures that collapsed.

The Post-Standard newspaper says the storm destroyed four homes, ripping one from its foundation and tossing it onto another house. Three other houses nearby also were damaged.

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Tree sits across road and on a home in Sylvan Beach, N.Y., following storm on July 8, 2014
John Haeger/Oneida Dispatch

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley said in a television interview that dogs were being used in Smithfield to search for additional victims, and that neighbors were being interviewed.

He identified the victims as a 35-year-old woman and her 4-month-old daughter, a 70-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man.

Barbara Watson, the meteorologist leading the agency's survey team, said that the violent winds Tuesday were at least 100 mph and reached undetermined higher speeds to cause the damage they're seeing in the town of Smithfield.

The towns of Sullivan and Lennox were also hit hard and had multiple trees and wires down, deputies said.

National Grid says some 77,000 customers were left in the dark.

The summer camp tragedy in Maryland occurred just before 7 p.m. at River Valley Ranch camp in Carroll County. The camp describes itself on its website as a Christian summer camp.

"Approximately 114 children ages 7 to 12 years old were attending a session at a pavilion on the hill as part of the River Valley Ranch summer camp when a strong storm came through the area," Jon Light, a spokesman for the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, said in a statement.

"Upon seeing the impending storm, the camp staff began to move the children to an enclosed building also located on the hill. While (they were) moving to the hall, the storm arrived, knocking a tree over, which struck several of the children."

Light said seven children were taken to area hospitals, where one of them died. Injuries to the other six were not believed to be life-threatening.

Two other children were treated by emergency medical personnel at the scene, Light said.

Parents of children attending the Arrowhead Woods and Fort Roller camps at River Valley Ranch were being contacted and asked to pick up their children from the camp. The Frontier Town camp was not damaged by the storm, and the teenagers attending that camp would be able to remain.

About 228,000 homes and businesses across Pennsylvania remain without power after severe thunderstorms raced across the state. At least one tornado touched down.

The bulk of the power outages are in the Philadelphia region, which has 153,000 outages. In Chester County, 65,000 were still in the dark early Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down Tuesday afternoon near the town of Hoagland in northwestern Pennsylvania's Mercer County. It traveled 2 1/2 miles along State Route 318, knocking over trees. There are reports of damaged roofs and downed trees in both Mercer and Armstrong counties.

The weather service says possible tornadoes were reported Tuesday in Perry, Bedford and Sullivan counties in central Pennsylvania.

The service says three small tornadoes touched down in northeastern Ohio, causing minor damage but no reported injuries, as strong storms moved across the state.

And tens of thousands of customers in Maryland and Virginia were without power after strong storms moved through the Washington metro area.

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