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Deadly storms with flooding rain and tornadoes leave path of destruction in multiple states

At least two people died and 27 million people were under the risk of severe storms with heavy rain, floods and high winds from Maine to Florida on Wednesday.
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At least three people are dead in the wake of severe storms that brought tornadoes Tuesday and continued to wreak havoc on the eastern parts of the country Wednesday, officials said.

In Collegeville, Pennsylvania, a woman died after a tree fell on her car during storms Wednesday, according to Montgomery County’s deputy director of public safety and NBC Philadelphia.

Massachusetts State Police said they were responding to multiple crashes on highways after sleet and rain hit part of the state.

“If you do not need to be on the roadways, avoid doing so,” state police said on X.

There had been around 27 million people under risk of severe storms Wednesday as the destructive storm system moved east, a day after tornadoes and damaging winds struck in Kentucky.

Beaver Falls, Pa., firefighter Jason Tyger, right, gets some help carrying a woman from a boat after she was rescued from her flooded home in Franklin Township, Pa., on April 3, 2024.
Beaver Falls, Pa., firefighter Jason Tyger, right, gets some help carrying a woman from a boat Wednesday after she was rescued from her flooded home in Franklin Township, Pa.Lucy Schaly / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

“These storms were wide-ranging, and they left a lot of damage across much of the state,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said at a Wednesday news conference. He reported possibly seven tornadoes and damage to 20 counties in the severe weather that hit his state Monday and Tuesday.

Two people died during the severe weather earlier this week — a 19-year-old man killed in a traffic collision in Kentucky on Tuesday, and a 46-year-old unhoused woman who had been sheltered in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, drainage pipe Monday when it flooded, officials said.

On Tuesday, tornadoes were reported across six states — Alabama, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky — although the National Weather Service sent out survey teams Wednesday to confirm the damage was from tornadoes.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal
Workers at a home Wednesday damaged by a tornado the day before in in Jeffersonville, Ind. Matt Stone / The Courier Journal / USA Today Network

Video showed destroyed and damaged homes and structures in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Trees were ripped down and sent into power lines and cars, and by Wednesday night 284,000 customers were without power from Wisconsin to New York, according to tracking website

The American Red Cross in Tennessee opened an overnight shelter after severe weather hit the state and said Wednesday it was sending teams out across the state to help those in need.

A confirmed EF1 tornado with peak winds of 105 mph and a path almost 3 miles long hit the small town of Sunbright and other communities there, damaging numerous structures downtown, the National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday.

Beshear had declared a state of emergency Tuesday for Kentucky because of the storms that started to hammer the state Monday, and he deployed Kentucky State Police and emergency managers to affected areas to assist locals in need. 

Another likely tornado touched down in Conyers, Georgia, uprooting trees and damaging homes. The suspected tornado caused “some minor injuries associated with trees, tree down calls” and power outages, Meredith Barnum, deputy director of the Rockdale County Emergency Management Agency, told NBC News. 

In Pittsburgh, flooding was occurring at the Ohio River on Wednesday and was expected to continue until Thursday evening, the weather service said. Over 4 inches of rain fell on the city in three days, the agency said, which is the second-highest three-day amount for April (the highest was in 1901).

Tuesday’s large spring storm also left heavy snow in Wisconsin, with 9.5 inches in Pulcifer and 8.3 inches in La Crosse. 

A man is stranded on his vehicle in floodwaters in Columbus, Ohio, on April 3, 2024.
A man is stranded on his vehicle Wednesday in floodwaters in Columbus, Ohio.Ohio Department of Transportation via AP

Nineteen-year-old killed in Kentucky storms

Kentucky officials Wednesday afternoon announced a weather-related fatality in Campbell County following a two-vehicle crash the day prior. The Campbell County Coroner did not release the name of the victim, but confirmed it was a 19-year-old man.

Elizabeth Delaney, the mother of Brady Delaney, confirmed to NBC News that her son was the man killed during Tuesday’s storms in Campbell County. She described her son as passionate, responsible, driven and always helpful. 

"He just made a lasting impact on every piece of the community that he was in," Elizabeth Delaney said.

Brady Delaney leaves behind two younger brothers and a younger sister, his mother said. Elizabeth Delaney said she believes her son’s mission "was to help mold his siblings into being good, amazing people like he was."

She said the family and community has shown an outpouring of support in the aftermath of her son's death.

"It’s just been awful. ... He was an incredible big brother. We tell people we hit the jackpot lottery when it comes to him," Elizabeth Delaney said in a phone interview.

Brady Delaney was also the captain and "backbone" of his soccer team during his senior year of high school, his mother said. He made such an impact that his coach started a leadership award in his honor — dubbed “The Brady Award” — his mom said.

At 18, Brady Delaney got his real estate license and worked for Keller Williams before he died. Elizabeth Delaney said she’s received emails from her son’s boss saying "they just didn’t expect such a young person to be so driven and focused and hard-working, and they said he never missed a training."

A woman exits a tornado damaged building on April 3, 2024 in Sunbright, Tenn.
A woman exits a tornado-damaged building Wednesday in Sunbright, Tenn.Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

April storm hammers the East Coast

As the storm moved east Wednesday, 50 million people were under wind alerts, 46 million under flood watches and 11 million under winter alerts.

By late Wednesday, flood warnings covered part of Western Ohio and flood watches stretched from Pennsylvania and into New Jersey.

New York City was under a travel advisory through Thursday due to the weather.

Lightning strikes the Statue of Liberty in New York on Apri 3, 2024.
Lightning strikes the Statue of Liberty in New York on April 3, 2024.@dantvusa via Twitter

Northern Queens and the Bronx were under a coastal flood warning until 10 a.m. Thursday, and Southern Queens has a coastal flood warning until 7 a.m., New York City Emergency Management said.

Snow was also forecast for northern states from upstate New York to Maine. By the time it ends, 20-30 inches of fresh snow could blanket the Michigan Upper Peninsula, and 12-24 inches could fall across the high elevations of New England.