(NEW YORK) — Nearly two million people are waking up today without power after a ferocious storm pummeled the mid-Atlantic region.
After a day of triple-digit temperatures, the storm caused power outages from Indiana to New Jersey and resulted in two fatalities in Virginia.
A 90-year-old woman died in bed after a tree fell on her home, police said. The second fatality was Khiet Nguyen, 27, who died while driving his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The storm raced across 12 states and brought tremendous downpours, lightning and wind gusts that topped 90 mph in some spots.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency after half a million residents were left without power.
Jimmy Gianato, the director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department in West Virginia, urged residents to check on their neighbors with triple digit temperatures expected Saturday.
“Our greatest concern is the pending heat wave that’s to be here tomorrow, with 102 degree temperatures. We’re looking at the contingencies we need to make tonight to make sure that we can take care of our citizens tomorrow,” he said.
In Ohio, power lines were down on an entire street creating a virtual minefield. Nearby, a parked truck was smashed by a falling power pole. Nearly 300,000 residents were without power in the state.
Washington D.C. also felt the brunt of the storm. After a day of intense heat, 400,000 people were reported to have lost power.
Twenty states are under some kind of heat warning or advisory today, mostly from the Mid-Atlantic through the south and into parts of the Midwest.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Steve Almasy, CNN
Wayne Drash, CNN
Tal Kopan and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Marilia Brocchetto, Tim Hume and Claire Rigby, CNN