On Friday night, a powerful storm with devastating winds swept through the Sixth District. As a result of this storm, power was lost to many homes and businesses throughout the region. On top of power outages and property damage from the storm, oppressively hot conditions are forecast to continue for several days. These combined factors have created a hazardous situation for residents of the Sixth District.
While many in the Sixth District have seen their power restored, others are still waiting. As of this morning, Governor McDonnell's office has received notice that approximately 500,000 customers are without power statewide, down from a high of some 1.2 million customers previously. Officials have called this the largest non-hurricane related power outage in Virginia history.
As crews continue working around the clock to restore power and clean up debris, I urge you to take every precaution in this extreme heat. Drink plenty of water. Check on friends, family, and neighbors -- especially the elderly. If possible, take shelter in a cool, air-conditioned area to avoid heat-related illnesses. Cooling centers are open in many communities. A full listing is available by clicking here. Please remain vigilant about any additional storms that may develop during these extremely hot days.
From providing food and water to helping open cooling centers, volunteers from across the region have taken action to help those in need. I thank them for their outpouring of support. It has also been reported that 10 people in Virginia have lost their lives and several have been injured as a result of this destructive storm. My prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones and those who were injured as well as all of the communities impacted by this storm.