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article imageMany Americans spending Independence Day without power

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By David Silverberg     Jul 4, 2012 in World
More than 900,000 homes remain without power Wednesday in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. States hit hard by last week's storm are still struggling to restore power to Americans hoping to ring in Independence Day with some positive news.
Some residents are waiting for power in homes where the heat has risen to 90 degrees, as USA Today writes. "Power companies that serve the Midwest and East Coast say they are working as quickly as possible, but repairing power lines and transmission stations takes time," the report adds.
In Virginia, cooling stations have opened across the state, including many in Richmond. More than 195,000 residents are in the dark in Virginia, it's being reported.
Eddie Harmon and his family in South Charleston, West Virginia, have spent nights sleeping in the car just to avoid the oppressive heat inside their home, CNN recounts. One of his daughters went to stay with her grandmother, who has a generator.
“We’ll end up rebuilding large pieces of an infrastructure system in five to seven days that took decades to build,” and crews are working in 16-hour shifts, said Scott Surgeoner, spokesman for FirstEnergy Corp., which covers the Ohio's northern half. He noted the company hopes the “bulk” of the 125,000 customers lacking power will be restored by Wednesday night but outages are likely to extend into the weekend.
Maryland is faring better than most, with outages down to 100,000 from the peak of 650,000 late last week. The Baltimore Sun adds, though, "more severe weather threatened crews' progress, though, and could also affect Fourth of July picnics and fireworks."
The heat-driven storm began Friday and left at least 17 people dead from Ohio to New Jersey. Another three in North Carolina died in a second round of storms Sunday, CNN writes.
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