State recovering from powerful storms
Millions are without power in the affected areas, including more than 900,000 in Virginia and nearly 100,000 in the Shenandoah Valley.
There is widespread concern about the outages with temperatures forecast in the upper 90s throughout the weekend.
“Older Virginians, infants and those who have medical conditions are especially at risk for heat related injuries,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said. “Please check on your neighbors, friends and family members and make sure they have a cool place to stay.”
Social media has been a home base for community-minded spirit, with users who have had their power restored offering to open their homes to friends and neighbors for access to air conditioning, running water and other amenities.
“We have power, AC, water and Internet. If you need any of these, you are more than welcome to come over,” Facebook user Jennifer Kupiec shared on the site.
Local governments have been opening up local cooling centers to assist in the effort as well. In the Greater Augusta area, the shelter locations are Kate Collins Middle School in Waynesboro and the Swoope Volunteer Fire Department in Augusta County.
The Augusta County Library in Fishersville also posted to its Facebook page that it would be open on Saturday to share its air conditioning with visitors.
“It will take several days to restore all power, so Virginians should plan accordingly. This is not a one day situation; it is a multi-day challenge,” McDonnell said.
Complicating matters is the forecast for another line of strong thunderstorms expected to hit Virginia Saturday evening.
Up-to-the-minute information on the emergency is available here: http://virginiaderecho.tumblr.com.