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Utility crews race to restore power to hundreds of thousands (+video)

The number without power was dropping, but more than 500,000 customers were still using generators, hauling water, and camping out almost a week after storms knocked out electricity to millions in the nation's capital and beyond.

By Alex DominguezAssociated Press / July 5, 2012

A worker from Florida Power and Light repairs Pepco power lines downed by heavy storms six days ago in Bethesda, Maryland, on July 5. About 600,000 customers from Ohio to Virginia remained without power, six days after violent storms first struck and as a heat wave continues to bake much of the region, local power companies said Thursday.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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BALTIMORE

More strong storms moved in on the eastern U.S. on Thursday, even as hundreds of thousands of people remained without power.

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Utility companies have called the derecho storm that swept across many mid-Atlantic states a "catastrophic weather event." Five days later, the cleanup is far from over. Whit Johnson reports that for the residents of Silver Spring, Maryland, this year's Fourth of July is more about survival than celebration.

The number without power was dropping, but more than 500,000 customers were still using generators, hauling water and camping out almost a week after storms knocked out electricity to millions in the nation's capital and beyond. At least 26 people were killed, many by falling trees.

Pepco, a public utility covering much of Washington, D.C., and the Maryland suburbs, was facing harsh criticism. As of Thursday morning, the utility said it had restored power to more than 90 percent of customers.

Meanwhile, a new round of summer storms was making its way across Michigan and Ohio, knocking down trees and power lines. Some new outages came in areas that already had power restored.

Utilities said more than 300,000 homes and businesses across Michigan were without power.

Cooling stations and shelters remained open across West Virginia and in other states.

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