1 of 4 | Thousands of flights have been canceled or delayed due to severe weather across much of the south and eastern United States. According to FlightAware, more than 1,600 flights have been canceled with another 8,000 delayed Monday. Photo courtesy of FAA
Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Severe thunderstorms and damaging winds across the Eastern United States on Monday killed two people, knocked out power to nearly a million customers and canceled hundreds of flights.
A 28-year-old man was struck by lightning and died in a parking lot in northwest Alabama and a 15-year-old was struck by a falling tree in South Carolina, according to authorities in each state, as heavy rain and winds gusted up to 70 miles per hour from New York down to Mississippi on Monday.
The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere posted video of the violent storms in a post on X.
"Incredible view of severe storms marching across the Mid-Atlantic this evening."
In Maryland, Harford County had to rescue residents after a number of trees fell on homes.
"We have had reports of trees falling on homes. Anyone concerned about a tree that has fallen on their house, call 911," Harford County wrote in a post on X. "Please don't assume it's safe."
According to PowerOutage.us, more than 900,000 homes and business were without power Monday evening. Most of the power outages were in North Carolina where more than 237,000 customers were in the dark, and in Pennsylvania, which reported more than 158,000 outages due to the massive storm surge. In Georgia, violent winds and hail downed trees and power lines.
"Our crews are working safely and as quickly as possible to get the lights back on," Georgia Power wrote in a post on X. "High winds, hail and heavy rain caused numerous uprooted trees and downed power lines."
In addition to heavy rain and wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour, the National Weather Service warned about the possibility of tornadoes.
"There are currently 5 tornado watches and 2 severe thunderstorm watches currently in effect, stretching from Alabama to New York," the National Weather Service wrote in a post on X, the social-media platform formerly known as Twitter, Monday afternoon. "The severe weather threat will continue throughout the afternoon and evening."
Thousands of flights have been canceled or delayed due to severe weather across the Eastern United States. According to FlightAware, more than 1,600 flights have been canceled with another 8,000 delayed. The Federal Aviation Administration warned in a post that the severe weather could impact dozens of airports into Tuesday.
The airports most affected are Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, where hundreds of flights have been canceled or delayed. Baltimore and New York's LaGuardia and Kennedy airports are also experiencing disruptions.
According to the FAA, flights heading towards New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., airports are being deliberately slowed.
"The FAA is re-routing aircraft around storms heading to the East Coast as much as possible," the FAA wrote in a post on X on Monday. "Soon we will likely have to pause departures in and out of East Coast airports, including NYC, Philly, DC, Charlotte and Atlanta."
Earlier Monday, the federal government in Washington, D.C., shutdown early as the eastern United States braced for severe weather Monday night.
"Employees should depart 2 hours earlier than their normal departure time," the U.S. Office of Personnel Management warned in an urgent message to federal workers. "All employees must depart no later than 3:00 at which time federal offices are closed."
As the East Coast endures severe thunderstorms, the South continues to swelter in dangerous heat.
"Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories are currently in effect across large portions of the southern tier of the nation and will likely continue through much of this week as there is no end in sight to the current large scale pattern that is driving this heat wave," the National Weather Service warned.
Dozens of heat records were set or tied over the weekend in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Austin, Texas, marked its 30th consecutive day with a high over 100 degrees, as the city hit 105 degrees Sunday.
Phoenix, Ariz., recently set a new record of 31 consecutive days with temperatures over 110 degrees.
Forecasters warn Tuesday could be even warmer.