- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 1, 2012

Outages numbered in the hundreds of thousands for a second day, as officials warned residents across Maryland, the District 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.

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.

He also said the situation could deteriorate in coming days, warning of “significant risk of additional storms which could lead to additional outages.”

Rodney Blevins, vice president of Dominion Virginia Power, said the outage was the third-largest ever in the state and the only non-hurricane outage in the top five.

He said an additional 55,000 outages were reported overnight. At 2 p.m., Dominion Virginia reported more than a quarter-million outages in the Northern Virginia area, with just more than 400,000 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 also confirmed that the death of a seventh person in the state, a Montgomery County rescue worker, was being 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 on their tent while camping. Two were killed in Maryland, one in Ohio, one in Kentucky and one in the District.

Officials in Virginia also said 911 service, which failed Saturday in some areas of Northern Virginia, was fully restored.

In Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley toured cooling centers Sunday morning in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

“There’s been an unprecedented number of outages in a very unprecedented sort of storm. We’ve made some progress, but we still have a lot more work to do.”

Mr. O'Malley said at an afternoon press briefing that the state was suffering from an unexpected blow. The storm system that hit the region was much like a hurricane, but residents had only hours to brace for it.

“We took a hurricane punch without the three to four days of hurricane warning,” Mr. O'Malley said.

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