NORWALK, Ohio - Gov. Bob Taft on Saturday surveyed damage from two days of severe storms and declared emergencies in two northern Ohio counties.

Floodwaters had mostly receded in Norwalk, about halfway between Cleveland and Toledo, which was one of the hardest-hit areas. Residents continued piling blankets, clothes, carpets and other ruined possessions on the curb to be carted away.

About 800 homes in Huron County were damaged in the storms, including at least 45 with major damage, said Bill Ommert, director of the county's emergency management agency. He estimated the damage at $2 million to homes and businesses and $5 million to farmers' crops.

The governor's emergency declaration for Huron and Erie counties clears the way for state resources to be used in the cleanup efforts and allows the state to seek potential federal aid.

"It's going to take a while for these families to get back on their feet," Taft said.

The storms, which began Wednesday night and continued into Friday morning, killed two people, produced several tornadoes and knocked out power to thousands. About 30,000 American Electric Power customers remained without electricity Saturday, spokesman Doug Flowers said.

The storms also damaged hundreds of homes and businesses in Cuyahoga County.

"It hit us fast," said Stan Cohara of Valley View, a Cleveland suburb. "It was like someone opened a big faucet. I just spent $30,000 remodeling my kitchen, and now it's shot."

In southeastern Pennsylvania, heavy rain fell on Chester County on Saturday, damaging a railroad bridge, blocking underpasses, stranding motorists and causing minor mudslides.

Up to 5 inches of rain fell within a few hours, according to the National Weather Service.

"I thought it was a little shower, and all of a sudden, it was a river," Pauline Rulon said. "What I saw today was unreal."