The Latest: Virginia State Police confirm 4th fatality

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Posted: Feb 25, 2016 1:23 AM
The Latest: Virginia State Police confirm 4th fatality

WAVERLY, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly storm system that spawned tornadoes along the Gulf Coast and damage along the East Coast (all times local):

1 a.m.

Virginia State Police say a man who had been missing since a funnel cloud destroyed his home has been found dead, bringing to four the number of deaths in the state amid severe weather.

State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement Wednesday night that the Appomattox County man's body will be taken to a medical examiner's office for identification. Seven others were injured in the county.

Geller also says at least 15 structures were destroyed and 25 injuries were reported when the storm passed through Essex County and the town of Tappahannock, about 45 miles northeast of Richmond. At least fifteen other structures were damaged.

Geller says the injuries ranged from minor to serious. There were no confirmed fatalities.

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11 p.m.

A line of thunderstorms moved across the New York City area, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that knocked down trees and caused scattered power outages.

Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a travel advisory for Wednesday evening through early Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service said the region could be hit with 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts.

Authorities are investigating the possibility that high winds caused a vacant three-story building in the Bronx to collapse. There were no reports of injuries.

In Westchester, the storm may have caused a tree to fall onto train tracks just south of Irvington. A Metro-North official says the train suffered minor damage when it struck the tree. The train continued to Irvington where it let passengers off. There were no injuries.

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9:30 p.m.

Strong storms have moved through Pennsylvania, causing multiple building collapses, tearing roofs off homes and downing trees and power lines.

Most of the damage Wednesday evening was reported in Lancaster County, which the National Weather Service says was under a tornado warning at the time.

LNP (http://bit.ly/21srUTY ) reports fire officials there are calling it a "major" weather event.

In Salisbury Township, two 600-foot chicken houses collapsed and a roof was blown off a nearby house.

Another building collapse was reported in West Donegal Township.

The storms knocked out power to thousands in Lancaster County.

There was no word on any injuries.

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8:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service says the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes has ended in North Carolina.

But meteorologists say wind gusts of up to 30 mph are expected to affect the state through Wednesday night, possibly bringing down trees whose roots were weakened by the earlier storm.

Power outages continue to plague much of the Carolinas, without thousands of residents lacking power.

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8:30 p.m.

Storms brought heavy rains and strong winds through Maryland and Washington, leaving thousands without power and motorists stranded by flooded roads.

Fire officials in Montgomery County in Maryland say a man was rescued after a basement wall collapsed on him in a Silver Spring home Wednesday night.

Roads in several areas, including an exit from Interstate 95 in Baltimore and Interstate 495 in Columbia, Maryland, were closed because of high water.

Utility companies in Maryland and Washington reported that thousands of customers were without power Wednesday night.

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7:20 p.m.

Authorities have identified the victims of a powerful storm that battered the town of Waverly, Virginia, as a 2-year-old child and two men.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says in a statement that the adults killed Wednesday were 50 and 26 years old. They were found about 300 yards from their mobile home.

Geller says the bodies were taken to the medical examiner's office in Norfolk for positive identification.

The National Weather Service says the Waverly tornado was the only confirmed twister in the state but several others are suspected tornadoes.

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7 p.m.

At the University of Richmond, fans arriving early for a men's basketball game were forced to move to a lower level of the Robins Center when a tornado warning was issued for the area around the campus.

Several hundred people were led down staircases to the lower floor, filling the hallway. They remained there for about 15 minutes before the warning expired and they were allowed to return to the arena.

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4:45 p.m.

Virginia State Police are now confirming three deaths in the tiny town of Waverly, which appears to be taking the brunt of a fast-moving storm sweeping across the East Coast.

Television newscasts showed shattered windows, splintered wood and shocked residents sizing up the aftermath of the storm.

Virginia State Police say at least five structures within the town limits have been damaged.

The names of the victims and the circumstances of their deaths were not released.

Roads leading into the town had to be closed because of downed trees and debris tossed by winds gusting to 60 mph.

The severe weather spawned several suspected twisters in Waverly and in the greater Richmond area.

Waverly is about 50 miles south of Richmond.

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3:30 p.m.

Residents in LaPlace, Louisiana, are cleaning up after a tornado ripped through the area.

The hum of chain saws could be heard as people got to work Wednesday cutting trees and fixing damaged roofs.

Eighty-year-old Rose Fuselier was in her house when the twister hit. She hid in a closet but then thinking the danger had passed, she came out. That's when the door burst open. As she was struggling to push the door closed, the windows in the front of the house shattered.

Down the street, Darren Miller was in front of his parents' house Tuesday when he heard a roaring noise. At one point, as the tornado swept through, he said he couldn't even see across the street.

The windows in the house exploded and a 57-year-old oak tree went through the roof. As many as 200 homes in the area were damaged Tuesday.

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3:15 p.m.

Authorities say two people have died after powerful storms ripped through eastern Virginia, raising the death toll from the tornadoes and severe weather to five.

Ron Messina, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said the two people were killed in the town of Waverly on Wednesday.

Messina could not provide the victims' identities or details about how they died. Three people were killed in Louisiana and Mississippi when tornadoes hit there Tuesday. Dozens of other people were injured.

The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for an area in southeastern Virginia, with radar indicating a twister in Waverly.

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2:30 p.m.

Police are reporting storm damage in Sussex County in southeastern Virginia from a system that has ravaged the South.

State Police Sgt. Michele Anaya says troopers were called to assist local authorities Wednesday afternoon. She did not know the extent of the damage, exactly where it occurred or whether there were any injuries.

Anaya said she could not confirm a twister, although the county was under a tornado warning when the damage occurred.

Workers who answered the phone at the Sussex County Sheriff's Office and the Waverly Fire Department said all first responders were out and nobody was available to provide information.

The storms killed three people in Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday.

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10 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says an apparent tornado significantly damaged more than 70 homes and 24 apartments in the Pensacola area, leaving three people with minor injuries.

The rough weather ripped through Pensacola on Tuesday evening and Scott toured the affected areas on Wednesday morning. He stopped at The Moorings apartment complex, where winds whipped the roof off of at least two buildings.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says crews are working to restore power to more than 2,700 homes that are still without power.

Scott says that he plans to meet with victims of a tornado that left widespread damage in nearby Century last week. The governor says they're working to allocate money from the state budget to help victims of both storms.