Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 2, 2012

East Coast states expect slow recovery

BECKLEY, W.Va. -- A summer storm of unprecedented magnitude is leaving people from the upper Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard wondering when they'll get relief from the violent weekend weather.

Hundreds of thousands remain without electricity and running water is scare in some communities.

This all comes at a time when temperatures have climbed to oppressive levels. From Atlanta to Richmond, temperatures were expected to reach triple digits.

“For us, a big storm is 60,000 to 70,000 customers out of service,” said Phil Moye, a spokesman for Appalachian Power. “Here we had 566,000. To be able to knock it down by around 100,000 in two days is a lot of progress."

Power in many West Virginia counties isn't expected to return until late Thursday or Friday.

Work crews from power companies in six southern states have descended on West Virginia to help in the recovery effort.

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service reported that the straight-line wind storms traveled approximately 700 miles in 10 hours.

States of emergencies have been declared in Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. With 2.5 million in the dark, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell stated that his state experienced its largest non-hurricane power outage in history.

The storm struck quickly and people were unprepared for its ferocity.

“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,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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Details for this story were provided by The Register-Herald in Beckley, W.Va., the Cumberland (Md.) Times-News and the Associated Press.

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