Storm blamed for two deaths, including woman killed in front of child

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Powerful storms carrying high winds, torrential rain, and hail slammed heavily populated parts of the U.S. Northeast on Tuesday, knocking over trees that killed two people, snarling transport and causing widespread power outages.

11-year-old girl in NY died when a auto under the influence of wind crashed into a tree.

Schools canceled classes or delayed opening on Wednesday.

The second victim of the storms was a man from CT - a tree fell on his truck. New York's Central Hudson Gas and Electric reported 78mph wind gusts on Tuesday and about 1,000 lighting strikes per hour.

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Almost 500,000 customers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were without power by late Tuesday night, fewer power outages than earlier Tuesday, tracking service PowerOutage.us said. Hundreds of thousands of residents remain without electricity. "AVOID all down trees and utility poles as they may still involve LIVE power lines", the Brookfield Police Department said on Facebook. Concourses were packed with passengers waiting for service to resume.

The tracks of the Maryland Rail Commuter train appeared to have gone down after a drainage culvert collapsed, county emergency management spokeswoman Vivian Laxton said.

Much of the East will see rain in the next three days. The biggest threat for flooding will be from southern New Jersey to Virginia, where 4-8 inches of rain could fall with localized heavier amounts possible.

Earlier in the day, upstate NY pounded by thunderstorms and baseball-size hail.

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