According to CNN-Large swaths of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic dug out Saturday hours after killer thunderstorms barreled through, a recovery made more complicated and dangerous by intense summer heat.At least 12 people, from Ohio to New Jersey, were killed as a result of downed trees and power lines. The destruction prompted the governors of Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio to declare states of emergency, with Maryland indicating it would do the same."This is on par with Hurricane Irene," said Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, referring to last year's storm that was blamed for at least 20 deaths across eight states.Neighboring Virginia was particularly hard hit, with six deaths. At one point, the Old Dominion State had about 1 million power outages -- more than any other state and, according to its governor, the most caused by any weather event that wasn't a hurricane."This is not a one-day situation; it is a multi-day challenge," Gov. Bob McDonnell said.Joseph Rigby, president of the electric company Pepco, said it could be a week before power is back up in some areas of Washington."Given the damage, you can understand this is going to take some time," he said. "The wild card is the weather."
The storms raced east Friday and into Saturday from Indiana through Ohio and into West Virginia and the nation's capital, carrying winds gusting as strong as 80 miles per hour.They left behind hundreds of downed power lines and trees that littered roads and damaged homes."This was a storm that obviously came upon us very quickly, without a great deal of notice, and the devastation that was caused is very significant," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said, noting there's a particular need for fuel, generators and communications equipment in light of the storms.Nearly 4 million people were without power across the affected states at one point Saturday, a number that dropped by the end of the night to around 3 million.Those killed included two cousins in New Jersey, ages 2 and 7, who'd huddled with their families in a tent in Parvin State Park when strong winds felled a pine tree, crushing them. Their relatives all survived relatively unscathed, said Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection.