Nightly News | June 30, 2012
>>> pick your adjective. more than a third of the country is under a heat advisory or warning, and tonight virginia, west virginia , and ohio as well as the nation's capital are under states of emergency after a freak storm swept through the region. at least 13 people have died as a result of that storm. more than 3 million homes are in the dark and without air-conditioning amid sweltering temperatures. this week alone more than 1600 heat records have been shattered. in the meantime out west those massive wildfires continue to burn out of control. we've got all of it covered tonight, and we begin with nbc's mike va khaira in washington. good evening.
>> reporter: kate f-that wasn't enough, this heat is expected to last well into next week in this region as well as the midwest and the south. the local utility company is making robocalls this afternoon telling residents they may not have power until late next week. it could be a week before the power comes back on, kate . the violent storms struck just before midnight . by morning its power and devastation were clear. homes and cars destroyed, power lines downed, millions in the washington, d.c. region without power .
>> the word that comes to mind is horrific.
>> reporter: triggered by record heat, the storms moved from illinois to the mid-atlantic in a phenomenon the experts call a wind storm with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms packing winds as high as 91 miles per hour, well above hurricane force, leaving a wide swath of destruction. crews worked throughout the day to restore power as homeowners banlded together to clean up debris and assess the damage. in virginia he called it the largest non-hurricane power outage in the state history.
>> 2.5 million people without power . that's almost in the ballpark of the last hurricane that we had.
>> reporter: in fairfax county 911 services were knocked out and residents had to report emergencies in person at police and fire stations . in maryland residents were asked not to lose water after treatment centers went offline overnight. in bethesda a pga tour event hosted by tiger woods turned away spectators due to concerns on over fallen and weakened trees. popular websites netflix, pent grist were down. no power means no air-conditioning in record setting heat. cooling centers were opened and the heat shows no signs of letting up. temperatures are expected to top 100 degrees in parts of 25 states today after hitting triple-digits across much of the nation yesterday, including a statewide record in south carolina of 113 degrees.
>> like an oven. just brutal.
>> reporter: in atlanta today, organizers at a youth football camp were taking no chances. for every ten minutes of play --
>> we have a five minute water break .
>> reporter: a five-minute water break and the city opened the pool to the public free of charge.
>> we know that the temperatures were getting this high this weekend, we couldn't wait to get to the pool.
>> reporter: and kate , p if all that weren't enough, this heat is expected to last well into next week, and the local utility this afternoon is making robocalls to residents who don't have power warning them it could be a full week before the lights come back on. kate .