Washington: A savage
storm has knocked Washington, the capital of world's most powerful
country, powerless with temperatures topping sizzling 40s, much
like an Indian summer.
Over 1.3 million homes and businesses in Washington and
surrounding cities in Maryland and Virginia states faced the
prospect of days without power over 36 hours after the storm
struck Friday night.
Emergency cruise are working round the clock to restore power to
hospitals and other essential services. But in homes and
apartments across the region with no telephones, TVs and internet
working, people are using candles and flashlights to make their
way to dark corridors and trudging down stairs to get daily
According to the Washington Post, many roads made impassable due
to fallen trees and the power lines they took down were, however,
reopened by Sunday. The crews worked through the night to clean up
the tangled aftermath of the storm.
The Washington region's three utilities said they were making
progress in turning the lights on again. But they cautioned that
broken branches and hanging limbs continued to topple onto power
lines, causing blackouts for people who thought they have
weathered the storm unscathed.
Temperatures Sunday were forecast to reach close to 100 degrees
Fahrenheit, continuing a heat streak that began Friday.
Facing the prospect of days without electricity, hundreds of
thousands of area residents spent Saturday dragging fallen trees
from yards and streets.
They were keeping themselves cool in swimming pools and theatres
and searching in vain for open gas stations or outlets to charge
The storms caused at least five deaths in the region as two
elderly women were crushed by trees that fell through their roofs,
two drivers were killed in their cars by trees, and a man was
electrocuted by a downed power line.
States of emergency were declared in Maryland, Virginia and the
District of Columbia.
According to the New York Times, about two million customers
remained without electricity after a deadly string of
thunderstorms whipped through the mid-Atlantic region and downed
trees and power lines.
The New York Times said at least 12 people were killed, including
a 90-year-old woman who died when a tree fell on her house as she
The damage was most severe in the Washington suburbs of northern
Virginia and Maryland, where some residents huddled in their
basements as the storm ripped through the area.
"It came on very suddenly," said Laurie Singer, a resident in
Maryland's Potomac area.
"It was a very short burst of heavy rain and then you heard this
swooshing sound, and it was the wind," she said. "I actually felt
the house shaking."
About 770,000 people remained without power in Virginia alone, the