Washington: The capital of the United States of America along with eleven other states are still without power after a summer storm knocked a large part of the country leaving more than 580,000 homes and businesses without power. Adding to the trouble was the temperature that was recorder around 37 degree Celsius at many places in the country.
The number of households without power dropped considerably on Thursday from a peak of about four million from Ohio to New Jersey who lost power after the Friday night storm that also claimed 22 lives. Many in Washington and affected states of Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey and Illinois spent the July 4 Independence Day in darkness, Thursday saw more sweltering temperatures, from Chicago to Washington to Atlanta and beyond, with mercury touching 38.3 degrees Celsius in Baltimore and 40 degrees Celsius in St. Louis.
Before it gets better, "the record heat wave" could get worse. "The heat will begin to expand eastward over the next few days, with high temperatures and humidity levels combining to create dangerous heat index values in the triple digits," the forecast said.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, authorities and charities rushed critically needed food and water to thousands of hungry people with empty pantries and "mass dumpings" of spoiled food across the state. With grocery stores in many areas still unable to open due to lack of electricity, the American Red Cross in West Virginia planned to serve up to 25,000 meals a day beginning on Thursday.
Officials were sending "about 40 big truckloads of water around the state each day", Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said. "Those affected by the storm are beginning to receive much-needed food".