Thousands of flights canceled, power outage as storms approach DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of U.S. flights were canceled or delayed Monday as forecasts warned of destructive powerful storms including tornadoes, hail and lightning and residents were warned to stay indoors and prepare for the worst.

It began to rain Washington Territory Shortly after 5 p.m., the sky gradually turned an ominous dark gray, a harbinger of the forecast severe weather and mass power outages.

The National Weather Service issued one Watch out for the tornado in Greater DC. until 9 p.m. and a flood warning until Tuesday morning. A Special statement from the weather service warned, “There is a significant threat from damaging and locally destructive hurricane-force winds, as well as the potential for large hail and tornadoes, even strong tornadoes.”

The spread of the storms was enormous, with tornado warnings and tornado warnings posted in ten states from Tennessee to New York. The National Weather Service said the area of ​​greatest concern is in the Washington-Baltimore region.

About 1,500 US flights were canceled and more than 7,000 delayed as of late Monday afternoon, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. More than a quarter of the cancellations occurred at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which was hit by disruption from Sunday storms.

A pedestrian carries an umbrella while walking through the rain August 7 in Washington, DC.
A pedestrian carries an umbrella while walking through the rain August 7 in Washington, DC.


The Federal Aviation Administration said it would divert planes towards the East Coast around storms and warned it will likely begin grounding flights in and out of the New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte and Atlanta area.

The White House postponed President Joe Biden’s exit by 90 minutes four day trip that takes him to Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The White House also canceled a back-to-school cybersecurity event that was scheduled to be attended by First Lady Jill Biden, a teacher, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and school administrators, educators, and educational technology providers from across the country.

The Office of Human Resources Management announced Monday that all non-emergency employees must leave before 3 p.m. when all federal offices are closed.

“This appears to be one of the worst severe weather events in the entire mid-Atlantic we’ve had in a while,” National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Strong said in a Facebook Live briefing.

The timing of the storms also worried forecasters. They were expected to hit larger population areas in the late afternoon and early evening, resulting in federal employees being sent home earlier to avoid being in their cars amid wind, hail and tornadoes.

Strong advised residents: “Get to a stable shelter. Be at home or be at work.”

As of early evening, more than 580,000 customers in Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia — according to all states along the storm system’s route — were without power The Knoxville Utilities Board tweeted that the damage was “widespread and extensive” in its Tennessee service area and repairs will likely take several days.

Dominion Energy reported nearly 15,000 people without power in Loudoun County, Virginia, west of DC And Pepco, a utility that supplies Washington and its suburbs, reported outages that affected more than 2,000 people.

Collins reported from Columbia, South Carolina. Associated Press writer Darlene Superville in Washington and AP Airlines writer David Koenig contributed to this report.

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