The deadly weekend storms are now being blamed for 12 deaths in Virginia, after a report of a fatality in Henrico.
The latest death was reported by Gov. Bob McDonnell Wednesday afternoon. The Department of Emergency Management says the victim was involved in a tree-related incident in Henrico Monday and died in Richmond Tuesday. Additional details weren't immediately available.
Other fatalities were previously confirmed in Albemarle County, Bedford County, Chesapeake, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Montgomery County and Roanoke.
176,928 people statewide remained without power as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, after 59,911 were restored since 5 p.m. Tuesday. At the storm's peak 1.2 million customers were offline. All hospitals are back on grid power, and Dominion Virginia Power reports that it is one day ahead of schedule for restoration, with the vast majority of customers coming back online by Friday night, the Governor reported.
"I am pleased that more and more homes are coming back on line, and I am encouraged that the power companies continue to work around the clock on the problem areas, but the high heat in Virginia is a serious ongoing safety concern. The recovery effort is continuing 24 hours a day and we are all focused on getting power restored as quickly as is possible in every community in the state," said Governor McDonnell. "As everyone continues to work together to get things back to normal, please look out for your friends and neighbors that are still without power and may need a place to cool off. Since this unprecedented weather event began we have seen the best of Virginians. But it is not over. I thank all of our local first responders and state agencies for their hard work and ask all Virginians to continue helping one another as we move forward."
Additionally, Verizon is reporting that all 911 systems are back to normal operations.
Seven primary roads and 101 secondary roads are still closed due to downed trees and debris, reports VDOT.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has coordinated delivery of 64,400 gallons of water, 14 generators, heavy equipment and advanced life support ambulances. VDEM has set up an event blog to record agency response, track the opening of cooling centers and provide information to the public at www.virginiaderecho.tumblr.com
The Virginia National Guard conducted 35 patrols in northern, central and southwestern Virginia from June 30-July 3, providing assistance with water distribution and other missions. Through noon today, 14 VNG personnel are in Bedford County to support water and ice distribution.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) issued safety information about avoiding heat-related illness and food safety:
44 localities have declared emergencies, and 17 local emergency operations centers remain open to coordinate assistance to their residents.
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