A superstorm is barreling along the East Coast and expected to hit New York City in the next few hours with warnings of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and hurricane-strength winds.
A tornado touched down in the city of Elmira, in north-west New York State at 4.15 pm local time.
Emergency crews attended fires, buildings were damaged and power lines downed but no injuries have been reported. There were reports of drivers trapped in vehicles.
Authorities evacuated campsites across New York State and airports had delays of up to two hours with flights already being redirected.
Some 32 million people are directly in the path of the storm including those in and around New York City, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Storms will rip through the East Coast tonight with some meteorologists predicting the outbreak could be as bad as the derecho which left millions without powers for days in Washington, D.C. last month.
The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation encourages those in trailers, recreational vehicles and cabins to leave the sites in the Allegany and Niagara regions of western New York and the Taconic and Palisades regions to the east.
Conservation officials were also advising campers in the Catskills and southern Adirondacks to seek shelter.
There are already 10,000 plus customers with power outages in Steuben and Allegany counties.
The potentially-devastating weather pattern made its way across the Midwest with forecasters predicting adverse conditions in Columbus, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
Towns across eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and upstate New York also reported downed trees, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Tornado warnings were in effect for most of New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, including areas surrounding New York City.
Winds of 60 miles an hour, large hail, isolated tornadoes and torrential rain was expected in the next few hours in the mid-Hudson Valley region.
Across New England and the Midwest, up to five inches of rain was expected.