- Two cousins crushed in their tent early Saturday when a tree split in half and fell on them
- Thirteen dead across the country after crippling heat and storms
- Multiple cities topped June highs, with mercury in Norton Dam, Kansas climbing to 117; Washington, D.C. hits 104F
- West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Ohio declared states of emergency
It could be several more days before electricity is restored to areas hit by vicious storms that killed at least 13 people and left three million power customers to negotiate sweltering temperatures without air conditioning.
Massive storms sweeping across the Eastern U.S caused the deaths of two young cousins camping with their families in New Jersey after a tree fell on their tent.
Across a swath from Indiana to New Jersey and south to Virginia, officials warned the heat wave could take a toll on the elderly, young or sick.
Problems from the storms during the triple digit heat wave ranged from a damaged prison in Illinois to tree-strewn train tracks that stranded 232 Amtrak passengers for more than 20 hours in West Virginia.
The storm that whipped through the region Friday night was called a derecho (duh-RAY’-choh) , a straight line wind system that sweeps over a large area at high speed.
The storm, which packed wind gusts of up to 90 mph, began in the Midwest, passed over the Appalachian Mountains and then drew new strength from a high pressure system as it hit the southeastern U.S., said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
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, as more storms threatened. ‘This is a very dangerous situation,’ the governor said.
Power officials said the outages wouldn’t be repaired for several days to a week.