5 Killed as High Winds Sweep East, Midwest

Gales cause chaos, outages, deaths
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2009 3:57 AM CST
President Barack Obama and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine walk through dust during a wind gust during their visit to a construction site in Virginia.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Five people were killed as winds of up to 65 mph swept across a large area of the nation yesterday from the Great Lakes to the eastern seaboard, AP reports. The winds cut a swath of destruction, delayed travel, and downed trees and power lines. A half million people were without power in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Ohio.

The winds, caused by a strong low pressure system, ripped the roof off a portable classroom in Philadelphia and sent trash cans hurtling into New York City streets. Falling tree branches killed two women in New Jersey, and a construction worker in New York was killed by a toppled wall. Wind-related deaths were also reported in West Virginia and Ohio.
(Read more winds stories.)