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Heat wave: Intense storms cause massive power failures in D.C.

June 29, 2012|By Steve Clow | This post has been updated. See below for details
  • A boy refreshes himself at a sprinkler on the National Mall in Washington, where temperatures hit 104 degrees.
A boy refreshes himself at a sprinkler on the National Mall in Washington,… (Yuri Grapasyuri / AFP/Getty…)

After a day of record-breaking high temperatures, extreme weather pummeled the nation’s capital and surrounding region Friday night, causing massive power outages.

The Washington, D.C., area was especially hard hit, but a line of intense storms -- whipped up by unrelenting 100-degree heat -- cut a swath from Indiana to Virginia. One million residents were without power in the D.C. area alone, NBCWashington.com reported, while CNN said 3 million people were left in the dark across seven states.

“Big storms in dc! Wow - apparently - 80 mph winds clocked. Listening for a freight train sound to grab the kids and head to the basement,” Fox News anchor Bret Baier wrote on Twitter.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning Friday night for Washington, advising residents to seek shelter and take a battery-operated radio or television, amid 75 mph winds, hail, lightning and thunder.

Residents reported tree limbs littering the streets in northwest Washington.

[Updated at 9:40 p.m.: The storm cut power at an Amazon.com cloud computing facility in in Northern Virginia, causing service interruptions for Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram and other services, according to venturebeat.com.]

Washington recorded a high of 104 on Friday, breaking a nearly 80-year-old record of 101. Baltimore hit 102, Charlotte, N.C., reached 104 and Nashville soared to 109.

Another searing day is expected Saturday across much of the Midwest, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, with temperatures in the 90s and above 100 in many areas, according to the Weather Service.

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steve.clow@latimes.com

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