- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Severe storms downed trees and power lines, leaving thousands in the dark across Virginia.

Dominion Power reports about 24,000 customers without power Wednesday morning, mostly in the Richmond area and southeastern Virginia. Media outlets report that more than 70,000 customers were affected after the storms hit Tuesday evening. The outages closed several schools Wednesday.

The storm dropped hail and its strong winds knocked trees onto homes and roads. Media outlets report that three vehicles were hit by falling trees on Interstate 64 in Goochland County, but the people inside were uninjured.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Orrock tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the storm’s strongest winds were 70 mph and 1¼-inch diameter hail was reported in the Tuckahoe area. The storm produced 1,500 lightning strikes that hit the ground.

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