Power outages leave 2.1M without power in heat wave


Workers cut up a fallen tree, so that power lines can be repaired, on June 30, 2012 in Huntington, Maryland. Over a million homes across the Washington area lost power after a severe thunderstorm hit the area.


Mark Wilson

More than 2.1 million people were still left without power during a heat wave on Monday after violent storms over the weekend knocked out power lines from Illinois to Virginia, said Reuters.

Across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, millions were left with no power to run air conditioners during what the National Weather Service is calling a "historic" heat wave.

CBS News reported that 99 new record highs were set in June of this year, compared to only one in June 2011 and none in June 2010.

Friday's storms saw winds of more than 60 miles per hour knock down several large trees and in turn knock out the power, according to The Washington Post. Rodney Blevins, the vice president of electric distribution operations at Dominion Virginia Power, said the damage caused by the storm resulted in the third worst outage in the company's history, according to The Post.

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley told CNN, "But unlike a polite hurricane that gives you three days of warning, this storm gave us all of the impact of a hurricane without any of the warning of a hurricane," according to The Los Angeles Times.

Reuters reported that American Electric Power Co. Inc., was still working to restore power to 465,000 in Virginia and West Virginia, 416,000 in Ohio, 52,000 in Indiana and 14,000 in Kentucky.

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CBS News said nearly 1 million are without power in the Washington, D.C., area.

According to the Guardian, the storm that took out power lines and trees is called a "derecho." The National Weather Service describes a derecho as a "widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath."

The Post reported that some customers may have to wait until Friday for their power restored.