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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Storm kills Amish teen in Pennsylvania, power out in Northeast (Reuters)

BOSTON (Reuters) – Thousands remained without power across the Northeast on Friday in the wake of severe lightning storms that killed an Amish teenager rushing to bring in hay before the rain struck.

Thunderstorms had rumbled through the region late Thursday, marked by dramatic and deadly lightning strikes.

Before the rain reached southeastern Pennsylvania, Levi Lantz, 13, was working his Amish family's farm in Christiana Borough when he was struck by lighting and killed, according to Eric Bieber, chief deputy coroner of Lancaster County.

Lantz was baling hay with his father when he was electrocuted by the lightning, Bieber said. Lantz's father was driving a team of horses about 30 feet away from his son and felt a slight tingling sensation from the electrical charge, he said.

"They were trying to get the hay in before the rain started," Bieber said.

Throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, a line of severe thunderstorms brought strong winds and hail to communities from Washington, D.C., to Maine, according to National Weather Service reports.

Wind, downpours and lightning strikes in Connecticut caused damage and more than 140,000 power outages at the peak, the state's emergency management agency reported.

By early Friday, 62,000 customers remained without power in what was expected to be a multi-day outage, according to Connecticut Light & Power.

New York officials reported roughly 18,000 customers remained in the dark statewide on Friday morning with the bulk of outages in the lower Hudson Valley.

Local teams were managing clean-up efforts, said William Peat, spokesman for the office of emergency management in New York.

The intense weather ushered in more moderate temperatures after days of unseasonable heat.

Temperatures across the region were expected to remain warm in some spots, but Friday's weather "is going to be a lot more tolerable than the last two days," said John Koch, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

New York looked forward to temperatures in the mid 80s compared to normal readings in the upper 70s. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was expected to reach the upper 80s while residents in Boston anticipated cooler weather in the low 70s.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper and Daniel Lovering; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)

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