Washington-area outages ‘almost unprecedented’
Outages numbered in the hundreds of thousands for a second day, as officials warned residents across Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia that power might not be restored until late in the week, and crews worked in temperatures nearing triple digits to make repairs from a devastating storm that claimed more than a dozen lives.
“We’re just praying for the power to come back,” Maseray Sesay said as she hauled two bags of ice out of an Alexandria Harris Teeter.
Ms. Sesay said power had been out in her home in Bradford Court since Friday night and that the heat was taking its toll on her family, “especially the kids.”
“I’ve been giving them bowls of ice to drink. We just sit outside because it’s too hot inside.”
Power outages, property damage and temperatures feeling like they are in the triple digits made Sunday miserable for many. Precarious road conditions, rerouted traffic and nonfunctioning traffic lights are adding up to make Monday’s return to work another epic event.
On Sunday evening, the D.C. Metro system urged customers to allow extra time to travel to work Monday. Some Metro trains may be traveling slowly because of limited power, and some Metrobuses have been rerouted because of storm debris and downed power lines.
During a conference call Sunday afternoon, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell called the storm and the resulting outages a “major, major event.”
“The scope and scale of the power outages affecting every region of the state is almost unprecedented,” he said.
At 6 p.m., Dominion Virginia reported about 227,000 outages in the Northern Virginia area, with a little more than 343,000 outages statewide.
The power company is bringing in more than 1,000 line workers from 13 states and Quebec to assist in the recovery.
Mr. Blevins said that from a height of 1 million outages, 80 percent to 85 percent of service should be restored by Tuesday night, with 90 percent to 95 percent back by Thursday. Nearly all remaining outages should be restored by Saturday, with the hardest-hit areas completed by Sunday.
Officials confirmed the death of a seventh person in the state, a Montgomery County rescue worker, attributed to the storm.
According to the Associated Press, at least six other people were killed in Virginia, including a 90-year-old woman who was asleep in her bed when a tree slammed into her home. Two cousins in New Jersey were killed when a tree fell onto their tent while camping. Two were killed in Maryland, one in Ohio, one in Kentucky and one in the District.
In the Beverley Hills community of Alexandria, which has a history of heavy storm damage, residents found felled trees — many well over 50 feet tall — blocking streets and even the front doors of some homes.
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