At least 12 dead in U.S. storms

June 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- Devastating storms left 2 million people without power in the U.S. Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions Saturday as baking heat returned.

At least a dozen deaths were caused by a 700-mile line of thunderstorms, including two cousins, boys ages 2 and 7, in New Jersey killed by a tree that fell on their family's tent in a state park, CNN reported. Six were in Virginia, including a 90-year-old woman killed by a tree that fell on her house, ABC News said.

"We have six confirmed fatalities, because of the storms last night, we have about a million customers without power, within Virginia and obviously we're looking at extremely high temperatures today, and that's our big concern," said Bob Spieldenner, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

In the Charleston, W.Va., area, about 77,000 people were without electricity, The Charleston Gazette reported. Officials said many could be without power for days and were working with nursing homes to provide temporary shelter for the elderly to protect them from the heat.

Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, said the golf course, set up for the Greenbrier Classic tournament scheduled to begin Monday, had been wrecked. Justice said boxes and camera locations for the tournament had been destroyed.

"I've got a chairmen's tent that looks like a bomb went off in it," he said.

In Ohio, a total of 300,000 people were without power, ABC said. The storms also hit Indiana hard.

About a dozen states were affected, including Kentucky where a man was killed when hit by a falling tree, CNN said. Two deaths also were reported in Maryland and one each in Ohio and Washington, D.C., ABC said.

Pepco reported 226,012 power outages in Montgomery County, Md., 133,160 in Prince George's County and 66,684 in Washington.

In northern Virginia, Fairfax County police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said a 90-year-old woman who had been sleeping in bed was killed Friday night when high winds blew a tree onto her house in Springfield.

A tree collapsed onto a car in Springfield, causing another death, officials said.

The temperature in Washington hit 104 about 5 p.m. Friday, a record high for the date.

In Nashville, the temperature reached 109 degrees Friday, breaking a 60-year record.

Heat warnings and advisories were in effect in much of the mid-Atlantic, the Southeast, the Plains and the Midwest.

Forecasters predicted the heat wave would continue.

AccuWeather reported temperatures in the next few days would climb to 100 degrees or higher in the mid-Atlantic, the South, the southern Plains and the Ohio Valley.

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