A storm packing high winds ripped through south-central Pennsylvania on Wednesday, damaging at least 50 homes in a housing development and injuring 12 people, including one critically, authorities said.

Christy Hetrick, 13, was at home when the storm hit. She said she heard "kind of like a screeching noise" and looked outside to see many trees knocked over. She said the storm lasted about an hour.

"I had tears in my eyes because it was so horrible," she said.

High winds and heavy rains have damaged hundreds of houses, stalled cars, breached small dams, downed power lines and closed roadways from Kentucky to the Eastern Seaboard in an onslaught of severe weather since Monday.

In New Jersey, residents of Lumberton -- the town hardest hit by floodwaters -- awaited word from inspectors on when they could return to their homes to assess the damage and start cleaning up.

In Kentucky, power outages numbered in the hundreds of thousands statewide as straight-line winds, reaching sustained gusts of 80 mph, toppled trees and power lines. In Louisville, some officials said the outages were the worst since the devastating tornados of April 1974.

In Maryland, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) declared a limited state of emergency Wednesday in two counties after floods damaged roads and homes. In the counties, a raging thunderstorm Monday caused creeks and streams to overflow their banks and flood towns in the northeastern part of the state.

Police officer Eric Singiser, left, Susan Bucland, center, and Tracey Clements, sift through the rubble of a Campbelltown, Pa., home.