High temps continue

Published 8:48 pm Saturday, June 30, 2012

The oppressive heat that settled over the area Saturday is expected to continue Sunday, with heat index values as high as 107 degrees.

In addition, an air quality alert is in effect through 8 p.m. Sunday.

A severe storm that blew through the area Friday night made matters worse on Saturday, knocking out power to more than 700 Dominion Virginia Power customers in Suffolk.

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The storm brought sustained winds in excess of 80 miles per hour in some parts of the company’s service area, according to a news release from Dominion. In Suffolk, about 10 trees were knocked down, as well as many large limbs.

On Saturday, Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency to make state resources available in the response to the storms. According to a news release from his office, it is the state’s broadest non-hurricane-related power outage in history. More than 1 million power customers across the state were without electricity, and six fatalities are being blamed on the storm in Fairfax, Albemarle and Bedford counties.

The number of outages decreased steadily throughout the day as workers turned the power back on, and the heat warning was canceled after temperatures peaked earlier than expected.

City spokeswoman Debbie George said the city monitored the number of power outages and calls for service to determine if there was a need to open cooling stations, she said.

Citizens were able to access libraries, the East Suffolk Recreation Center and other public buildings if they were in need of air conditioning, she said.

The heat is expected to continue for the next several days, although it won’t be nearly as bad. On Monday, the temperature will be about 95 with a heat index around 102. Highs the remainder of the week will be in the mid to low 90s.