Gov. McDonnell declares state of emergency after deadly storms

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jun 30, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-30 19:51:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia emergency management personnel and Dominion Power held an 11:30 a.m. storm damage briefing Saturday.

McDonnell said Friday's storms left at least six people dead in the state. He said two people died in Bedford County. Two were also killed in both Fairfax and Albemarle counties.

Officials said more than two million in the state are without power.

As a result, McDonnell said a state of emergency was issued for the Commonwealth Saturday morning. This gives localities power to implement curfew and also allows the governor access to up to 300 members of the National Guard.

Additionally, McDonnell said the storms caused the largest non-hurricane related power outages in the state's history.

“The widespread power outage caused by last night’s storms, combined with forecasted triple-digit high temperatures for the next several days, have created a dangerous situation for many Virginians,” said McDonnell in a news release.

Additionally, more severe weather is possible Saturday evening. [RELATED: More severe storms possible late Saturday]

McDonnell also called on all Virginians to help one another since the power outages could last for a number of days.

“Please check on your neighbors, friends and family members and make sure they have a cool place to stay," said McDonnell. "It will take several days to restore all power so Virginians should plan accordingly. This is not a one day situation; it is a multi-day challenge... In this difficult situation we must all work together to help one another.”

The governor also asks those with electricity should check the Virginia Derecho Blog periodically for a list of local cooling stations.

McDonnell is scheduled to meet with local officials in Fairfax Saturday afternoon about storm recovery efforts.

 Watch CBS 6 News at 6 p.m. for the latest on the storm recovery efforts. 

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Deadly storm knocks out power, down trees