Millions in US without power in heat

2012-07-02 11:00


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Washington — More than 3 million people in the eastern US faced a second day of 40° temperatures without electricity on Sunday after storms ripped through the region, and the storms' death toll was raised to 17.

It could be several days before all power outages in Washington, DC, and elsewhere are restored, officials said, and The National Weather Service said another round of thunderstorms was possible late on Sunday and early on Monday.

"Unlike a polite hurricane that gives you three days of warning, this storm gave us all the impact of a hurricane without any of the warning of a hurricane," Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said, after the storms late on Friday toppled massive trees onto cars and blocked roads in the nation's capital.

The severe weather that began on Friday was blamed for 17 deaths, most from trees falling on homes and cars.

Three people were killed on Sunday in eastern North Carolina when sudden storms hit there. Meanwhile, Coast Guard officials say they have suspended the search for a man who went missing early on Saturday while boating during the storm off Maryland.

The death toll inched up as a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police said the state medical examiner concluded a traffic death on Friday was storm related.

Vulnerable residents

Many deaths were from falling trees. At least six had been killed in Virginia, including a 90-year-old woman asleep in her bed when a tree slammed into her home.

Two young cousins in New Jersey were killed when a tree fell on their tent while camping. Two were killed in Maryland, one in Ohio, one in Kentucky and one in Washington

In West Virginia, 232 Amtrak passengers were stranded on Friday night on a train blocked on both sides of the tracks by toppled trees. Amtrak spokesperson Steve Kulm said passengers were taken away by buses on Saturday night.

Cellphone and internet service remained spotty on Sunday, gas stations were shut down and residents were urged to conserve water. Some major online services also saw delays and disruptions.

Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest used Twitter and Facebook to update subscribers after servers were out for hours. Netflix and Pinterest restored service by Saturday afternoon.

Officials focused on the most vulnerable residents: Children, the sick and the elderly.

Some sought refuge in shopping malls, movie theatres and other places where the air conditioning would be strong.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

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