An overnight Tornado threat exists from central New York down to northern South Carolina. Have your weather radio or mobile phones ready to receive warnings for your area if issued overnight. pic.twitter.com/CNAVsIACzW
Thunderstorm and tornado warnings and watches were issued early Monday for parts of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York, including New York City, where lighting struck One World Trade Center.
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Winds of up to 70 mph and heavy rain were expected.
Earlier, the storm system killed at least eight people, including three children. The system occurred in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, where officials estimated a tornado with 140 mph-winds struck Robertson County, northwest of Houston.
The tornado destroyed 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority building in Franklin, Texas, the Associated Press reported.
Dilynn Creel, 8, and his brother, Jace, 3, were killed in Angelina County when a tree fell onto the car they were in. A woman also was killed by weather-related debris near Nacogdoches.
In Louisiana, Sebastian Omar Martinez, 13, drowned in a drainage area and a person was found dead inside a vehicle submerged in floodwaters, authorities said.
In Alabama, a Jefferson County worker died after he was hit by a vehicle, the sheriff's office said.
In Mississippi, where the governor declared a state of emergency in areas affected by the storm, a 95-year-old man died in Monroe County after a tree crushed his mobile home, NBC affiliate WLBT reported. Robert Scott, 72, said he had been sleeping in his recliner in his Mississippi home late Saturday when he was awakened and found himself in his yard after a tornado ripped most of his home off its foundation.
Weather also caused havoc at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where a wintry blast dumped almost half a foot of snow Sunday, according to NBC Chicago. More than 1,000 flights into or out of the airport had been delayed or canceled. By Monday morning, O'Hare was running normally, according to the FAA.
Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News, based in California.
Rachel Elbaum , Allison Burstein, Ben Kesslen and Associated Press contributed.