The worst damage occurred in Smithfield, a town in central New York, where residents are still trying to grasp the devastation from the tornado that killed four people Tuesday and left many homes in piles of rubble.
But there was also sorrow in Maryland, where a child was killed and six others injured by a tree that fell at the River Valley Ranch summer camp in Manchester during a strong thunderstorm. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office released a press release indicating 114 campers, ranging in age from 7 to 12, were attending a program under a pavilion on a hill when the storm approached. The storm hit the site before the campers made it to an enclosed building where the camp staff was leading them.
Six children were transported to area hospitals for the treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, according to the release, and two children were treated at the scene.
“This is something that has never happened in our history,” said camp director Jon Bissett, according to USA Today. “A freak storm came up. Obviously it was pretty traumatic for the campers. A lot of them were there when it happened.”
Doug High of Manchester got a call from a nurse at Carroll Hospital Center around 11 p.m., telling him his daughter Kirsten had been injured in the storm. She suffered a concussion.
“I was told she was running for cover and was struck in the head,” he said. “There are multiple camps [at River Valley Ranch] and the one that was struck hardest was Fort Roller … that’s typically ages 9 to 12 and my daughter is 11.”
The tornado that hit rural Smithfield had winds in excess of 100 mph, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Watson.
The victims were a 35-year-old woman and her 4-month-old daughter, a 70-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man, Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley told the Associated Press.
“Houses you can replace, buildings you can replace, but when you lose a 4-month-old baby, there is no damage like that,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said when he visited the area Wednesday, according to USA Today. “The family of New York stands with Madison County.”
There were still more than a 100,000 people without power Wednesday in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.