Not only will hundreds of thousands of people in the eastern portion of the United States be enjoying (or not) their Independence Day holiday without power, many of them will also be sweating it out through the weekend.
On Wednesday afternoon, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) listed 30 towns and 33 counties in West Virginia that aren't scheduled to have their power restored until late Thursday to late Sunday.
Utilities working in other states, including Indiana and Ohio, said power was still out for large numbers of customers in some counties. American Electric Power Company Inc. (NYSE: AEP) said that in Ohio, for example, 198,000 people were still without power. The Dayton Power and Light Co. said it has passed out 22,000 bags of ice to its customers since Monday.
About a fourth of the roughly 3 million homes and businesses that lost power during last Friday's storms are still without power, according to Edison Electric Institute.
Meanwhile, two more deaths were attributed to the super derecho storm -- a powerful windstorm that travels across great distances in a singular direction -- that blew across the eastern portion of the United States.
Jacqueline Green, a 57-year-old utility worker who had driven up from Florida to do repair work in Virginia near the Maryland border, died Tuesday evening when the brakes of her bucket-truck failed and the vehicle collided with a semi, according to the Loudon County Sheriff's Department.
A death from a falling tree caused another death in Virginia, according to the Associated Press, which said no further details were available.
Rockville, Md., announced it was cancelling its Independence Day festivities due to ongoing effects of the storm and has opened a cooling center through Friday. A Gaithersburg, Md., official told AP that it too canceled its holiday festivities because the fairgrounds where they were scheduled to take place is being used as a staging ground for hundreds of utility trucks and other equipment.
West Virginia authorities are urging residents to not discharge fireworks due to unseasonably dry conditions and the large volume of downed and dried-out tree branches and leaves that could catch fire easily.