Mid-Atlantic storm leaves 4 dead
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.