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Violent storms leave 10 dead, millions without power

Latest update : 01/07/2012

Article text by News Wires

Authorities said on Saturday that at least 10 people were killed and millions more left without power – and with no air-conditioning in sweltering heat – after violent storms swept through the eastern United States.

AP - Violent storms that swept the eastern U.S. left at least 10 people dead, authorities said Saturday, while three million people were without power on one of the hottest days on record.

Six people were reported killed in Virginia, including a 90-year-old woman asleep in 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. Police in Maryland said a man was killed when a tree fell onto his car. Another death was reported in Ohio.

Hundreds of thousands in Washington, D.C., and other areas were still largely without power - and air conditioning - as temperatures were expected to reach above 100 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) across the region.

People chose to escape the heat in shopping malls or hotels. Drivers navigated through intersections left unguided by dead traffic lights. In suburban Washington, emergency call centers were without power and residents were told to go to police or fire stations if they needed help. Others were asked to conserve water. Cell phone coverage was spotty.

On Friday, the nation’s capital reached 104 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) - topping a record of 101 (38 degrees Celsius) set in 1934.

As of 1 a.m. Saturday, Pepco was reporting 406,000 power outages in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.

“We have more than half our system down,” said Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel. “This is definitely going to be a multi-day outage.”

Amtrak suspended its service from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, at least until mid-morning.

High winds also toppled three cargo trucks on Interstate 75 in Ohio.

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