Severe Thunderstorm Watch, Warnings Follow Excessive Heat Warning in DC

A fast-moving line of dangerous storms has knocked out power to more than 1 million customers in the D.C. area, and one person has died do to a fallen tree.

A day of record-shattering heat ended with severe thunderstorms that rushed through the metro area with strong winds and an impressive lightning display.

Trees are reported down across the area.  The storms produced hurricane-force winds in excess of 80 mph. Gusts of 82 mph were reported in the Reston area.

The National Weather Service reported a tree fell on a car in Springfield, Va., killing one person inside.

Extensive power outages have been reported. As of about midnight., Pepco was reporting 386,550 customers without power in D.C., Prince George’s County and Montgomery County and Dominion Power was reporting 831,912 outages in northern Virginia and 182,636 outages in Shenandoah Valley/Western Piedmont. As of about 11:20 p.m. Allegheny reported 7,781 outages in Montgomery County, 1,021 in Howard County and 12,248 in Frederick County. SMECO was reporting 9,104 outages.

Pepco and Dominion said some customers could be without power for multiple days, which could be very dangerous for some as the heat wave continues through the weekend.

There are several reports of trees and power lines down and roads blocked in the area.

Metro reported a downed tree caused single-tracking between Dunn Loring and West Falls Church.

Metro also reported suspended rail service between Grosvenor and Shady Grove due to a power outage and delays on all lines because of the weather. Blue Line service between Largo Town Center and Addison Road was restored when a power outage was resolved about midnight.

Metrobuses also are delayed, as they are stuck in the same traffic as other motorists dealing with downed trees.

News4’s Shomari Stone reported portable toilets were blown on to Independence Avenue near the Washington Monument, blocking the roadway.

Several severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued with this line of storms. A tornado warning for Allegany and Washington counties in Maryland expired at 9:45 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm watch expires at 1 a.m. for D.C.; Allegany, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Washington counties in Maryland; and Arlington, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties in Virginia.There is potential for hail, but the biggest threat is strong winds that could knock down trees and cause power outages. These storms have produced major wind damage in West Virginia and Ohio with gusts up to 75 mph. There was also a tornado warning with this line of storms in West Virginia. There have also been many lightning strikes.

The line of storms is expected to be off the coast by 5 a.m.

The high temperature was 104 degrees at Reagan National Airport Friday afternoon, setting a record not only for the day, but for the entire month of June. Last year we set a record with a 102-degree day in June.

The previous June 29 record of 101 degrees was set in 1874 and tied in 1934. In the past 142 years, D.C. has seen the temperature reach 104 degrees only 10 times.

A record was set at Dulles International Airport, too. It’s reached 102 degrees there. The previous record was 95.

The storms aren’t likely to offer the mercury much of a break. We could be in the record heat business again Saturday, and all the rain will make it feel even muggier.

The heat index — which factors in humidity — reached 112 degrees for Washington and got up to 117 in Leesburg, Va.; 112 in Fredericksburg, Culpeper and Manassas in Virginia; 114 in LaPlata, Md.; and 112 in Frederick, Md., according to Storm4 meteorologist Doug Kammerer.

On the Billy Goat Trail, a hiker was overcome by the heat and had to be rescued by boat.

Nine Girl Scouts at an event in Benedict, Md., were taken to hospitals because of heat exhaustion. Several others were taken to the Benedict Fire Department to cool off.

At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, seven children were taken to a local hospital with heat exhaustion. They are expected to be OK.

There’s a chance for more storms Saturday and Sunday. The storms are not expected to be as severe as Friday’s, but Kammerer is not ruling it out because of the heat, which gave Friday’s storms their energy.

Read more on NBC Washington.


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