Mid-At­lantic storm leaves 4 dead

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

WASHINGTON — It could take days to re­store power to hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple around Washington af­ter a storm downed power lines and trees and left four peo­ple dead, of­fi­cials said Mon­day.

Sun­day’s storm brought cooler weather to the Mid-At­lantic re­gion, which has been through a nearly two-week heat wave, but it also left wide­spread dam­age in Washington and its sub­urbs.

Power out­ages af­fected more than 430,000 cus­tomers. Of­fi­cials said they hadn’t seen a sim­i­lar out­age since Hur­ri­cane Is­abel in 2003.

Re­gional util­ity Pepco re­ported late Mon­day that about 182,000 cus­tomers were with­out power in Washington and neigh­bor­ing Mary­land coun­ties. The wide­spread dam­age made it un­clear when most would be re­stored, spokesman Bob Hainey said. Ma­jor power lines were down, elec­tric poles were bro­ken and nu­mer­ous trans­form­ers were dam­aged.

Other elec­tric com­pa­nies in the re­gion pre­dicted power would be mostly re­stored by tonight.

Four deaths in the re­gion were blamed on the storm.

Of­fi­cials say War­ren Dou­glas Smith, 63, died af­ter en­coun­ter­ing se­vere winds and choppy seas on the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay.

In Beltsville, Md., a tree crushed a mini­van, killing driver Michelle Hu­man­ick, 44.

In Vir­ginia, a 6-year-old boy also died af­ter a tree fell on him while he was walk­ing with his fam­ily. In Penn­syl­va­nia, po­lice say a 53-yearold woman was ap­par­ently elec­tro­cuted by a fallen power line in her back­yard.

Even as cleanup was go­ing on, the power out­ages were caus­ing dis­rup­tions. Au­thor­i­ties re­sponded to dozens of fires and car wrecks.

In Washington, of­fi­cials said there were more than 270 re­ports of dam­age. Fire depart­ment spokesman Pete Piringer said about half a dozen homes were sig­nif­i­cantly dam­aged.

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