Huge Storm Kills Power in Northeast, Plains
At least two possible tornadoes reported
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2012 3:15 AM CDT
Storm clouds loom over Times Square as Manhattan braced for heavy weather, Thursday, July 26, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – Hundreds of thousands lost power yesterday, compliments of a massive storm system that battered the Plains and Northeast. At one point yesterday the National Weather Service had severe thunderstorm watches in effect across a swath stretching from Oklahoma all the way to New Jersey, CNN reports. There were reports of possible tornadoes in both Pennsylvania and New York, and both states suffered widespread outages, with power out in more than 100,000 Pennsylvania homes and nearly 95,000 New York ones.

At least two people were killed: A Pennsylvania woman was crushed inside her car by a falling tree, and a Brooklyn man died when a lightning strike sent a church scaffolding hurtling down on him. Lightning may have also been responsible for a fast-moving fire that tore through Brooklyn, injuring 40 firefighters and a dozen civilians, the Wall Street Journal reports. Today the National Weather Service thinks there's still a slight risk of severe storms in the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys, and the Mid-Atlantic.