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Lightning Strike Kills Woman in Iowa

Rebecca McCarthy, 42, of Hiawatha, was struck by lightning as she moved between two camping areas at a park northwest of Cedar Rapids.
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A woman in Iowa died after she was struck by lightning Saturday as storms rolled through the area, authorities said.

Rebecca McCarthy, 42, of Hiawatha, was hit by lightning at around 5:30 p.m. as she walked between camp sites at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area, northwest of Cedar Rapids in the eastern part of the state, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said.

McCarthy was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, the Iowa DNR said. The fatal lightning strike occurred as the possibility of strong storms were forecast for eastern Iowa and northwest Illinois Saturday.

In Linn County, where the recreation area is located, there were reports of quarter-sized hail that fell so heavy in parts that it resembled snow, according to the National Weather Service.

In Franklin County in southern Illinois, a suspected tornado Saturday caused major damage to a two-story home, according to reports made to the NWS. Five tornadoes struck Illinois on Friday, all in the southern part of the state.

The remnants of Tropical Depression Bill brought heavy rain to Washington D.C. Saturday, causing flooding and knocking out power to 26,000 customers, NBC Washington reported. The center of the storm was about 100 miles northwest of Charlottesville, Virginia, as of 11 p.m. Saturday and was moving northeast at 28 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Between one to three inches of rain soaked a region stretching from the nation’s capital to Baltimore, the NWS said, and a flood warning was in place for the District of Columbia to Arlington County in northern Virginia.

In Delaware, the outdoor Firefly Music Festival was evacuated as severe storms approached, organizers said. Concertgoers were advised at around 10 p.m. to clear the grounds and seek shelter in their cars, just as the band Kings of Leon were set to take the stage, NBC Philadelphia reported.

Shows were cancelled for the rest of the night but were scheduled to resume Sunday, concert organizers said in a Tweet.

New York City and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut were under a flash flood watch in anticipation of storms that could last through Sunday evening, the NWS said.