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When most people think of summer, they think of hot days that are enjoyable to spend outside. Bathing suits, swimming pools, the ocean, flip-flops, gardening, and cook-outs all come to mind, basically anything outside for people to take advantage of the warm weather. However, this summer, particularly the past few days, have been unbearable for much of the eastern United States as record breaking temperatures are causing power outages and even deaths.
“Hot and hotter will continue to be the story from the Plains to the Atlantic Coast the next few days,” the National Weather Service said Monday. “The widespread excessive heat warnings and heat advisories have certainly decreased in coverage, but temperatures will remain well above average across a large portion of the U.S.”
Over the past weekend, emergencies were announced in several states including Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Washington D.C. as a result of the “hurricane-forced wind storms.” The storms have left severe damage, resulting in power outages and dangerous living conditions for those without power living in the sweltering heat.
According to the website Reuters, “The storms’ rampage came as sweltering temperatures topped 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in several southern cities, including Atlanta, where the mercury hit an all-time record of 106 degrees (41 C) on Saturday and reached 105 on Sunday. Over two-dozen cities across 10 states set or tied all-time record high temperatures on Friday and Saturday, including Columbia, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Raleigh, North Carolina.”
Thus far, the storms have killed 22 people and have resulted in power outages in over three million homes, and as the heat index increases more deaths are anticipated.
David Glenn of the National Weather Center said that a man was killed when his shed collapsed on him in North Carolina. Additionally, six people in Virginia have died as a result of the storms, two were killed in Maryland, a falling tree killed two young cousins in New Jersey and two brothers, ages 3 and 5, were killed from heat stroke in Tennessee, according to reports.
Two-thirds of the state of Ohio lost power last Friday and to revive power, Ohio’s Governor John Kasich received federal emergency assistance.
Pepco CEO Jim Rigby told CNN, “”We’ve restored about 45% of the customers (which are considered households), but obviously, we’re not satisfied,” Rigby said. “We have a lot of work to do, and we won’t be satisfied until we have everyone back.”
According to CNN, Rigby also said that, “he understands the frustration some people may be experiencing. Crews from as far away as Canada’s New Brunswick have arrived to help, with more expected Monday. Our foot is on the pedal.”
As electrical companies are working hard to get the power restored for their customers, they are hoping to have regained power for 90% of households by Friday. Rigby, after making significant progress overnight, said he believes “we should be able to beat that.”