WASHINGTON – More than 3 million people in the eastern U.S. faced a second day of 100-degree temperatures without electricity Sunday after storms ripped through the region, and the storms' death toll was raised to 17.
It could be several days before all power outages in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere are restored, officials said, and The National Weather Service said another round of thunderstorms was possible late Sunday and early Monday.
"Unlike a polite hurricane that gives you three days of warning, this storm gave us all the impact of a hurricane without any of the warning of a hurricane," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said, after the storms late Friday toppled massive trees onto cars and blocked roads in the nation's capital.
The severe weather that began Friday was blamed for 17 deaths, most from trees falling on homes and cars. Three people were killed Sunday in eastern North Carolina when sudden storms hit there. Meanwhile, Coast Guard officials say they have suspended the search for a man who went missing early Saturday while boating during the storm off Maryland.
The death toll inched up as a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police said the state medical examiner concluded a traffic death Friday was storm related.
Many deaths were from falling trees. At least six had been killed in Virginia, including a 90-year-old woman asleep in her bed when a tree slammed into her home. Two young cousins in New Jersey were killed when a tree fell on their tent while camping. Two were killed in Maryland, one in Ohio, one in Kentucky and one in Washington
In West Virginia, 232 Amtrak passengers were stranded Friday night on a train blocked on both sides of the tracks by toppled trees. Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm said passengers were taken away by buses Saturday night.
Cellphone and Internet service remained spotty Sunday, gas stations were shut down and residents were urged to conserve water. Some major online services also saw delays and disruptions. Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest used Twitter and Facebook to update subscribers after servers were out for hours. Netflix and Pinterest restored service by Saturday afternoon.
Officials focused on the most vulnerable residents: children, the sick and the elderly.
Some sought refuge in shopping malls, movie theaters and other places where the air conditioning would be strong.