90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, July 2, 2012

‘Dangerous Heat’ Warnings In 10 States, Millions Without Power

A worker clears debris from a large downed tree in Falls Church, Va., Sunday. (AP)

BY: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON – Millions of people in a swath of states along the East Coast and farther west went into a third sweltering day without power Monday after a round of summer storms that killed more than a dozen people.

The outages left many to contend with stifling homes and spoiled food over the weekend as temperatures approached or exceeded 100 degrees.

Around 2 million customers from North Carolina to New Jersey and as far west as Illinois were without power Monday morning. And utility officials said the power would likely be out for several more days. Since Friday, severe weather has been blamed for at least 18 deaths, most from trees falling on homes and cars.

The power outages had prompted concerns of traffic problems as commuters took to roads with darkened stoplights. But throughout northern Virginia, there was less traffic than normal in many places Monday as federal workers took advantage of liberal leave that was put in place for the day.

To alleviate traffic congestion around Baltimore and Washington, federal and state officials gave many workers the option of staying home Monday. Maryland’s governor also gave state workers wide leeway for staying out of the office.

“It was less traffic,” said D.C. resident Rob Lavender, who commuted to Arlington County from the district. “It’s more hectic on a regular day.”

There were more than 400 signal outages in Maryland on Monday, including more than 330 in hard-hit Montgomery County outside the nation’s capital, according to the State Highway Administration. There were 100 signal outages in northern Virginia late Sunday afternoon, and 65 roads were closed, although most were secondary roads.

“If you have to drive or need to drive, leave yourself a lot of extra time,” Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman Charlie Gischlar said. “There’s going to be delays.”

Some drivers resorted to ingenuity to get to work. On a residential street in suburban Falls Church, Va., just outside Washington, downed trees blocked the road on either side. Enterprising neighbors used chain saws to cut a makeshift path on one side, but the other remained completely blocked by a massive oak tree.

“They kind of forgot about us out here,” resident Eric Nesson said.

Guest:

  • Donna Linewand Leger, USA Today

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 25 8 Comments

Lightening Up Traditional Thanksgiving Fare

Our resident chef Kathy Gunst has created lighter versions of listeners' favorites, from mashed potatoes to green bean casserole.

November 25 Comment

U.N. Envoy Calls For ‘Firing Freeze’ In Aleppo, Syria

Staffan de Mistura says limited and localized ceasefires in this historic city could serve as a model for the rest of the country.

November 24 25 Comments

Jose Antonio Vargas May Soon Become Documented Immigrant

The activist and journalist is one of the undocumented immigrants expected to receive protection from deportation.

November 24 8 Comments

Doctor: Hard-To-Abuse Painkillers Won’t Fix Overdose Crisis

There's a question of whether the new technology of addictive painkillers will help stem the epidemic or help fuel it.