A record-breaking heatwave was set to continue blanketing the Central and Eastern United States on Monday after severe storms left 17 dead and three million without power
States of emergency were declared in Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. over the weekend after violent storms took 17 lives and left more than three million people without power.
The storms developed amid an intense heatwave blanketing much of the Central and Eastern United States and driving the mercury to record levels. A sweltering temperature of 108 degrees (41 degrees Celsius) was recorded in Atlanta, GA, on Saturday - a new record high - and temperatures of 100 degrees or higher were reached in most mid-Atlantic cities for three days running.
The effect of the intense heat was exacerbated for more than 3 million people left without power following the storms, disabling air conditioning at homes and offices.
Power companies have warned it may take up to a week to restore electricity supplies.
A spokeswoman for power company Pepco, which serves Washington, commented on the outage: "We do understand the hardship that this brings, especially with the heat as intense at is. We will be working around the clock until we get the last customer on."
The National Weather Service warned of continued severe heat and the possibility of further violent storms in the region. A short-range weather forecast on Monday morning read warned that "relentless heat will continue [..] from the plains to the Atlantic coast." It also warned that "strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible across [the] southern mid-Atlantic region and north central U.S."