Jun 30, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from Accuweather: A land hurricane left a trail of destruction across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic on Friday, cutting power to millions and killing ten people.
More than 450 damaging wind reports were received by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) as the land hurricane took roughly 12 hours to race from northern Indiana to the southern mid-Atlantic coast.
A land hurricane is also known as derecho, a widespread and long-lived wind storm that produces gusts to hurricane strength. The most severe derechos are given the adjective “super.”
Winds gusted to 91 mph (equal to that of a category 1 hurricane) at the Fort Wayne International Airport, Ind., Friday afternoon.
As the land hurricane maintained its violent nature, an 81 mph gust was then measured at Tuckerton, on the southern New Jersey coast, early Saturday morning.
Downed trees dominated the damaging wind reports and led to the deaths of 10 people, according to Fox News.
One of the multiple trees that crashed into homes in Springfield, Va., killed a 90-year-old woman as she was sleeping in her bed, according to the Associated Press.
A few hours earlier, a falling tree outside of North Middletown, Ky., (located east-northeast of Lexington) killed a man who was attempting to clear some tree limbs off a road.
Excerpted from Fox News: Three governors declared a state of emergency after powerful storms swept through the eastern United States Friday night, resulting in at least 10 deaths and more than three million without power.
Under the statewide emergency declaration, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio, can utilize all government resources immediately to help those in need.
Gov. John Kasich cited widespread power losses in Ohio, utility damages and excessive heat that could create crisis conditions for some Ohioans. State emergency officials say 800,000 to 1 million people still had power outages Saturday morning.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency after more than 500,000 customers in 27 counties were left without electricity. Current estimates have 688,000 people without power in the state. Tomblin’s office says the state is running out of fuel and they’re fearful that they will run out of gas.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said the state had its largest non-hurricane power outage in its history. There are 2.5 million without power.
The storm system across the eastern part of the United States caused seven fatalities, including two boys at a New Jersey campsite.
The boys, ages 7 and 2, were in a tent huddled with their family members, when a tree fell early Saturday morning, authorities said.
There were six reported deaths in Virginia, including a 90-year-old woman asleep in bed when a tree slammed into her home, a police spokeswoman said Saturday. Another man was killed by a falling tree while watching the storm from his deck and a woman died after she, too, was hit by a falling tree after she got out of her car to observe a downed tree. Both those deaths occurred in Albermarle County, Va. A fallen tree also killed a man driving in Maryland.
In addition, a park police officer was injured by an uprooted tree in the northern Virginia county, and an 18-year-old man was struck by a power line, Jennings said. He was in stable condition after receiving CPR, she said.
Widespread power outages were reported from Indiana to New Jersey, with the bulk of the service interruptions concentrated on Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas. Earlier Friday, the nation’s capital reached 104 degrees — topping a record of 101 set in 1934.
More than 20 elderly residents at an apartment home in Indianapolis were displaced when the facility lost power due to a downed tree. Most were bused to a Red Cross facility to spend the night, and others who depend on oxygen assistance were given other accommodations, the fire department said.
The storms, sometimes packing 70 mph winds, toppled three tractor trailers on Interstate 75 near Findlay, Ohio.
“Our officers and firefighters are out there with power saws, trying to clear the streets,” Jennings said.
At least four utility poles fell on a road in Columbus, Ohio, making it too dangerous for people in four cars to get out, police said. One person was taken to a hospital.
As of 1 a.m. Saturday, Pepco was reporting 406,000 outages in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, Md.
“We have more than half our system down,” said Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel. “This is definitely going to be a multi-day outage.”
Amtrak suspended its service from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia due to the storms, at least until mid-morning.
Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia reporting some power issues with a computer system that handles airline departure/arrival information.
In the Washington, D.C., area, the Metrorail subway trains were returned to their endpoints due to the storms and related damage, officials said.
“It has had a widespread effect on the region,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said early Saturday. He said about 17 train stations were operating on backup power due to local power outages, but that he didn’t anticipate service being disrupted on Saturday.