Much of the East Coast woke up to the sound of chainsaws and wood chippers,, killing at least nine people. About 3 million homes and businesses lost power and getting the lights and air conditioners back on could take days longer than usual amid the .
From North Carolina to Maine, the cleanup is underway Wednesday and governors in six states have declared a state of emergency. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper toured a mobile home park that was destroyed in the storm.
"This is devastating," Cooper said. "To see what looks like in many cases homes just exploding."
Many were killed by falling trees toppled by powerful winds gusting up to 70 mph; more than two dozen tornadoes were reported along the East Coast.
Up to 6 inches of rain flooded a Philadelphia neighborhood. Just north, a likely tornado tossed cars and ripped the roof off a Doylestown Hospital daycare center with more than 100 children under the age of 5 inside, injuring some.
"We went to the window to check out the storm, but then it blew and we just went, and Marlene took us back and then we went in the closet," a 5-year-old explained.
In Connecticut, the storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people. Stephanie Convey was inside her home when a tree fell on it.
"I was sitting there reading, and this huge crash," she explained. "I tried to look out the windows, and all I could see was trunk and branches and leaves."
This storm blew threw on the eve of her 82 birthday, no less — and nearly one year to the day since her husband of 57 years died. Convey said she wasn't too shaken up.
"It's just because I was so grateful that nothing serious happened. You know, a house is a house," Convey explained.