Storm death total rises, update on power outages

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Dominion Virginia Power expects to have powered restored to at least 80 percent of all customers by Tuesday night.

The death toll was also increased to 7 Sunday, after the report of a weather related crash Friday night in Montgomery County, announced Gov. Bob McDonnell.

In total, 739,000 meters, or roughly 1.5 million people, remain without power. At its peak around 2 million people were affected. Dominion Virginia Power reports 419,000 total customers offline, making this the third largest event in the company's history. Saturday night's storm added another 55,000 outages to Dominion's total, the company reported.

Dominion hopes to have power restored to 80 to 85 percent of its customers by Tuesday night, 90 to 95 percent by Thursday. Nearly all should be back online by Saturday, though some in the hardest hit areas won't get power back until Sunday.

Fallen trees are also complicated road travel. Twenty-five primary roads are closed, along with 217 secondary roads, according to VDOT.

Severe weather is complicating recovery efforts. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for both Sunday and Monday evening, though they aren't expected to be as widespread. Extreme heat is also expected, with temperatures predicted to top out over 90 degrees and the heat index expected to reach more than 100 degrees in the coming days. At least 35 cooling shelters and 10 emergency shelters are open statewide.

Both Pres. Barack Obama and Sec. of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano called Gov. McDonnell Saturday to offer federal support. The governor has been in touch with FEMA and is prepared to ask for more resources, as needed.

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