'Derecho' Storm Hits DC, Two Killed Friday in Northern Virginia

Thousands of District residents are still without power Saturday morning after powerful 'derecho' slams metro area.

Residents of the District woke up to power outages and scattered tree limbs and debris in roads after a powerful "derecho" storm hit the area Friday night.

As of 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, the number out of power in the Georgetown area was in the dozens, according to PEPCO Power outage map. North of Georgetown in Glover Park, however, there are hundreds reporting power outages.

Residents of the 20007 Zip Code were taking to the internet to report downed trees throughout the area. On twitter one user posted a photo of a car smashed by a tree at 28th and O Street. On "See, Click, Fix" tree and large limbs were reported at 35th and S Streets, in the alley behind Manor Place and 37th Street and on the 3500 block of Reservoir Road.

The amount of debris on the streets of Georgetown and the number of felled trees is , which wrecked havoc up and down the East Coast last fall.

To report downed trees in public space, residents should call 311 or go online at 311.dc.gov. You will need to provide specific details about the location, according to a notice from the District Department of Transportation.

In Northern Virginia the storm left two people dead in its wake after a day of record heat.

Khiet Nguyen, 27, of Burke died at about 11 p.m. after a tree hit his 1998 Mercury while he was driving west on Old Keene Mill Drive near Bauer Drive, according to Fairfax County Police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 90-year-old woman died in Springfield when a tree fell on her home as she was lying in bed, according to FCPD. Another occupant of the home called 911 but was unable to reach the victim.

The victim’s name will be released when next of kin has been notified.

According to some local meterologists, Friday night's storm may have been a "derecho."

A derecho is "widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term 'straight-line wind damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage,'" according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The high temperature today will reach 99 with a heat index of 105 — a potentially dangerous situation for the thousands who are without power (and therefore air conditioning) today. There is a chance for thunderstorms this afternoon, but they are not expected to be nearly as severe as they were last night. Temperatures will cool into the upper 70s tonight. 

Heat Tips

  • If you don’t have air conditioning, go somewhere that has it. If you have to, try to stay on the lowest floor of a building and stay out of the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated—a key component to keeping yourself cool.
  • Dress in light colored, lightweight clothes.
  • Try to spend the hottest part of the day in an air-conditioned location, such as your local library, movie theater or mall.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors, who are more susceptible to heat-related health problems.
  • Even with shade and water, it’s just too hot for your animals to be outside.
  • Double Dog Dare blogger Ariel Leath has .

Were you surprised by the severity of this storm? What were you doing when the derecho hit the area? Tell us in the Comments.

Patch Editor Jason Spencer contributed to this story.


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