WASHINGTOM: More than 2 million people were without power in the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday from hurricane-force winds that ripped through the area overnight.
Restoring power in storm-damaged parts of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia is expected to take as long as five days even as the region grapples with a record-breaking heat wave.
At least one person was killed by the storm.
Repairing damage "is a monumental task. This is something that is going to take days, not hours," said Ed McDonough, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Emergency Management.
A line of powerful thunderstorms with winds of more than 80 mph and heavy rain accompanied by intense lightning tore through the area late on Friday, downing trees and power lines.
About 800,000 customers in Maryland were without power on Saturday. Every county in the state had reported outages, McDonough said.
Karl Neddenien, a spokesman for Dominion Virginia Power, said 700,000 customers were without electricity because of "catastrophic damage" in central and northern Virginia.
In West Virginia, Governor Ray Tomblin declared a statewide emergency. A spokesman for the state's emergency management office said about 672,000 people were without power.
In the District of Columbia, the Pepco utility said 68,000 customers were effected and that power might not be restored until Wednesday.
Area power companies are calling in crews from utilities in neighboring states to help clear damage and restore power.
WJLA Television reported one fatality in suburban Fairfax County, Virginia, after a tree fell on a car.
The area is facing a weekend of extreme heat and the possibility of more thunderstorms that could cause more damage and outages.
The glum forecast comes after records for June were broken on Friday in Washington, Atlanta and Louisville, Kentucky. The temperature hit at least 104 F (40 C) in all three cities, according to the National Weather Service.
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission ordered water restrictions in Montgomery and Prince George's counties because the storms had knocked out power to its filtration plants and other facilities.