Regional perspective on Wednesday night storm

A massive storm system originally forecast to affect one in five Americans from Iowa to Maryland is surging toward the Mid-Atlantic after largely failing to live up to its billing in ferocity through the Upper Midwest.

Several thousand homes and business in northern Indiana remained without power hours after the storm front swept across the state.

Major electric utilities reported at least 16,000 outages Thursday morning, although that was much less than the peak after the storm with strong winds moved through Wednesday night.

Scattered building damage and downed trees were reported after winds up to 60 mph and golf ball-size hail hit from Gary to Fort Wayne. The National Weather Service says about 3 inches of rain fell in Marion.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. had about 44,000 outages after the storm hit. Most of those were in northwestern Indiana's Lake County, where some 4,000 outages remained around Crown Point alone early Thursday.

Tens of thousands of southwestern Michigan residents lost power due to the storms.

Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop says about 33,000 of the utility's 1.8 million customers were without power on Thursday morning. Allegan, Kalamazoo and Van Buren were the counties most affected.

Bishop says most customers will have power restored by the afternoon, while some in the hardest-hit areas will have to wait until Friday.

And on the other side of the state, some Detroit-area motorists had a tough commute as heavy rains from the night before caused flooding and standing water on roadways, including major freeways.

Authorities in Ohio report early Thursday morning that high winds from possible tornadoes damaged barns in the northwest and knocked out power in some areas in the center of the Buckeye State.

Meteorologists warned about the possibility of a weather event called a derecho, which is a storm of strong straight-line winds spanning at least 240 miles.

While the Midwest dodged a derecho, several tornadoes, large hail and flooding did some damage.

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