Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fatal Storm Hits Eastern U.S.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission listed 63,481 power outages from Friday afternoon through midday Saturday. Millions across the mid-Atlantic region sweltered Saturday in the aftermath of violent storms that pummeled the eastern U.S. with high winds and downed trees, killing at least 13 people and leaving 3 million without power. At least six of the dead were killed in Virginia, including a 90 year old woman asleep in 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. Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr. says 30 year old Michael Martin of Montgomery County died at about 7:00 P.M. Friday after a tree fell on him after he tried to clear a limb downed by heavy winds.

Emergencies were declared in Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Virginia.

In West Virginia, 232 Amtrak passengers spent Friday night near Prince on a train that was blocked on both sides by trees that fell on the tracks, and they were waiting for buses to pick them up Saturday.

Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says the storm that whipped through the region Friday night was called a derecho (duh-RAY'-choh), a straight line wind storm that sweeps over a large area at high speed. It can produce tornado-like damage. The storm, which can pack wind gusts of up to 90 mph, began in the Midwest, passed over the Appalachian Mountains and then drew new strength from a high pressure system as it hit the southeastern U.S.