Hundreds of thousands of people remained without power in the eastern United States on Tuesday, in the wake of violent storms that left at least two people dead.
Massive flight cancellations and delays: Severe storms paralyze U.S. East Coast
More than 1,700 domestic flights were cancelled on Monday and over 8,000 delayed, according to FlightAware. Rain, gale-force winds and hail swept across almost the entire US East Coast, from Alabama to New York, where weather warnings had been issued warning of tornadoes that could affect millions of people.
By early Tuesday, nearly 600,000 customers were without power on the East Coast, according to poweroutage.us. The National Weather Service (NWS) had forecast a “moderate risk” of dangerous storms, with gusts that could reach more than 128 km/h.
“Stay alert to weather conditions and make sure you’re able to receive alerts,” the NWS had advised on social networks in Baltimore and Washington on Monday.
While most of the risk of severe weather had subsided by the end of the evening, some areas still faced the threat of flooding as rain continued to fall. The NWS warned of a risk of flash flooding in Washington and the neighboring Virginia cities of Arlington and Alexandria until 2:45 am Tuesday (06:45 GMT).
Hailstones up to 11.5 cm in diameter were reported in Virginia, according to the NWS. In Alabama, a 28-year-old man died, struck by lightning in the parking lot of an industrial park, reported a local ABC station. In South Carolina, a 15-year-old teenager was killed when a tree fell in front of his grandparents’ home, according to a local CBS station.
Devastating weather: Storms paralyze the East Coast and South of the United States
In Maryland, local media and government agencies posted images on social networks of downed power lines in the streets and fallen trees on houses or across roads and railroads. Other states in the South were also affected, and Georgia Power released photos of trees that brought down power lines.
In Washington, federal agencies had sent their employees home by 3:00 pm on Monday in anticipation of the bad weather. The storms came as much of the southern U.S., including Texas, Louisiana and Florida, endured temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius forecast through Tuesday. According to scientists, climate change has amplified the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events worldwide.