East Coast Outages Could Last Days

And the mercury is soaring
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 1, 2012 9:32 AM CDT
East Coast Outages Could Last Days
A tree toppled by severe storms sits atop a car in Washington's Dupont Circle neighborhood on Saturday, June 30, 2012 in Washington. More than two million people across the eastern U.S. lost power after violent storms and two people died, including a 90-year-old woman asleep in bed when a tree slammed...   (Jessica Gresko)

As the Mid-Atlantic states roast in sweltering temperatures, up to 3 million people remain without power after violent storms that killed 13—and it could be several more days to a week before electricity is restored, reports the AP. A glance around at the fallout from Friday's storms:

  • Emergencies have been declared in Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell said the state had its largest non-hurricane outage in history. "This is a very dangerous situation," he said.

  • Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said utility crews from as far away as Florida and Texas were working to untangle downed tree limbs and power lines. "Unlike a polite hurricane that gives you three days of warning, this storm gave us all the impact of a hurricane without the warning of a hurricane," he said.
  • In Washington's northern Virginia suburbs, emergency 911 call centers were out of service; residents were told to call local police and fire departments. Cellphone and Internet service was spotty, gas stations shut down, and residents were urged to conserve water.
  • Utility officials said it could take at least several days to restore power to all customers because of the sheer magnitude of the outages and destruction.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered the National Guard to deliver fuel for generators and fresh water to stricken areas. He reported that power had been restored to such tourist areas as Atlantic City's casinos.
  • Illinois corrections officials transferred 78 inmates from a prison in Dixon to the Pontiac Correctional Center after storms wrought havoc.
  • In West Virginia, 232 Amtrak passengers were stranded Friday night on a train blocked on both sides of the tracks by toppled trees.
  • Netflix, Instagram, and Pinterest resorted to using Twitter and Facebook to update subscribers server outages. Netflix and Pinterest restored service yesterday afternoon.
  • In Charleston, W.Va., firefighters helped several people using walkers and wheelchairs get to emergency shelters. Others sought refuge in shopping malls, movie theaters, and other places where the air conditioning would be cranked up.
(More East Coast stories.)

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