Nightly News

Nightly News   |  July 01, 2012

Thousands without power in D.C. area

A massive storm Friday cut electricity to thousands in the Washington, D.C. area, and also made cell phone service spotty. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>>> it has been a frustrating weekend. more than 2 million customers remain without power tonight and couldn't have happened at a worse time. with the holiday approaching crews are still trying to clean up the mess from a deadly storm that killed at least 14 people. they cope with stifling heat. it was a scorcher across much of the nation. washington , d.c. and 23 states recorded triple digit temperatures today. we'll tell you how long the heat will last. we begin with christen welker in washington . good evening.

>> reporter: kate, good evening to you. scenes like this are still the norm here in the washington , d.c. area. this entire region still recovering from friday's massive storm.

>> frustrated. frustrated. highly frustrated.

>> reporter: david is still living without power in his washington d.c. home more than 48 hours after a powerful storm hit the region on friday knocking down power lines and trees and wreaking havoc just days before the 4th of july holiday.

>> most of my neighbors have packed up and left somewhere.

>> reporter: one of the millions still without power. a big cleanup job from ohio to new jersey and hard hit maryland.

>> this storm had all of the impact of a hurricane without the warning.

>> reporter: these maryland crews are working 16 hour days in triple digit heat to get the power back on but officials say it could take up to a week until everybody is restored. is this one of the worst storms you have ever dealt with.

>> this is the worst storm under the worst conditions. we work in blizzards and the snow. when you deal with the heat it is an entirely different dynamic.

>> reporter: cooling centers opened up along the east coast . in virginia the lines were long to get into this library. tim shay says it has been a tough weekend.

>> my black berry device is out and the internet is out at home.

>> reporter: there are long lines at some gas stations because others have closed having run out of fuel.

>> it is frustrating. at least it is a sunday and not rush hour. it is still a huge amount of time.

>> reporter: the storm knocked out trees blocking an amtrak train stranding passengers for more than 20 hours in west virginia before they were picked up by buses saturday night all adding to the frustration and continuing of friday's storms.

>> we had always thought about taking a train ride and decided now is a time to try it. i have marked it off my bucket list.

>>> on monday utility crews will come from oklahoma, florida, georgia and missouri to help with restoration efforts. fema continues to work with the most heavily impacted states.