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Power Outages Leave Millions Sweltering in 'Dangerous Heat' With 'Hot and Hotter' on the Way

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Common Dreams staff

Continued heat and power outages follow a weekend of destructive storms and oppressive temperatures across the east coast and plains.

As of this morning, millions were still without power including over 90,000 in the Chicagoland area, over 490,000 in the Washington area, and about 450,000 people in Ohio and more than 650,000 in West Virginia. Some residents will be waiting until the end of the week to see their power restored.

Reuters reports that of the 2.2 million homes and businesses stretching from Illinois to New Jersey, the Washington, D.C. area was the hardest hit.

As millions hope for rapid recovery of power, deadly heat continues.  Weather Service meteorologist Katie LaBelle stated that the heat wave has "broken hundreds of daily records and quite a few all-time records." 

Those hoping for relief from the heat have no comforting forecasts ahead.  "Hot and hotter will continue to be the story from the plains to the Atlantic Coast for the next few days," the National Weather Service said.

As AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Edwards explained to ABC News, the destructive weather that hit the Washington, D.C. area was caused by a rare occurence known as a "derecho," which forms "when an atmospheric disturbance lifts the warm air in regions experiencing intense heat, causing thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds to develop."

Dr. Jeff Masters writes on WunderBlog that "Friday's derecho was one of the largest and most destructive in U.S. history."

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