A heat wave coupled with thunder showers and high winds wreaked havoc across eight states Friday evening, and in the aftermath millions have been left without power and four people are reported dead.
CNN reports 4 million people have been left without power across all states affected by the storm, with 1 million people without power in Virginia alone. CNN's Jake Carpenter said the states without power include Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, and parts of DC as of 5:10 a.m. Saturday morning.
Of the four fatalities, two occurred in Virginia and the other two in New Jersey. In Virginia, an elderly woman died when a tree fell on her home while she was sleeping, and a 27 year-old man died in a traffic accident. In New Jersey, two young boys were killed during a camping trip after a pine tree snapped and fell on the tent their family was hiding in.
Cities across the states effected faced over 100 degree weather on Friday, many of them setting record highs for temperature. In D.C., one of the areas hit hardest, Friday's 104 temperature topped a record 101 degree temperature set in 1934. Winds consistently hit between 60- and 80-miles-an-hour, and in some areas topped out at 90-miles-an-hour. A meteorologist explained why the winds were able to stay so strong to the AP:
Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said the system that came through the Washington area is known as a derecho, which the weather service describes as “a widespread, long-lived wind system that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.” Although a derecho can produce tornado-like damage, the damage is typically along a mostly straight path.
According to the Washington Post, some could be left without power for days as the temperature on Saturday is expected to break 100 degrees again and there's a 20 percent chance of more thundershowers.