— Tornado and flash flood alerts from the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas to as far south as Florida had residents keeping eyes on the skies and commuters trying to get home safely.
In Washington, D.C., some 11,000 utility customers had lost power, as had 5,000 in neighboring Prince George's County, Md.
Airports in Washington and Baltimore saw major disruptions starting late afternoon.
The Orange Line commuter train was suspended when a tree fell on the tracks during rush hour, NBC Washington reported.
The entire metro D.C. area was under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. ET.
Up to 4 inches of rain was expected in some areas, and minor street flooding caused some traffic disruptions.
In North Carolina, witnesses said they saw a tornado touch down a few miles outside Elizabeth City. No damage was reported.
Another tornado was reported in Westmoreland County, Pa., but details were not immediately available.
The Storm Prediction Center listed several dozen reports of severe wind and hail, some of which downed trees or caused light property damage.
Tornado alerts were also issued in parts of Florida, including St. Lucie County, earlier Friday. A flash flood watch is in effect in the Miami area , NBC Miami reported.