Storm death toll up to 11, crews making progress with power

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jul 03, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-03 13:11:41-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Governor Bob McDonnell provided an update Tuesday morning on the state’s ongoing recovery efforts after powerful storms moved through Virginia last weekend.

McDonnell said another death, this one in Loudoun County, has been attributed to the storms. As of Tuesday, 11 people had died in connection with the severe weather. There have also been six heat-related deaths in the state since June 20.

Thousands across the Commonwealth are still without power, but the governor said crews are making progress and that all hospitals now have power. [BONUS: Meet the photographer behind viral storm photo]

McDonnell said as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, 286,000 customers still do not have power across the state. That’s down 123,300 since 6 p.m. Monday and down from 1.2 million during the height of the storm-related outages.

Power companies stress it may take until rest of this week and into the weekend to get everyone back online.

“We are seeing outage numbers decline, and the power companies are working around the clock with extra staffing,” said Governor McDonnell. “But the intense heat combined with lack of power continues to be a real and ongoing safety concern for us,” said McDonnell in a news release.

The governor continued to ask Virginians to check on family and friends as high temperatures continue to complicate matters after the deadly storms.

The strong winds toppled trees and downed power lines across the state, first on Friday, and then on Saturday.

In fact, the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-0 tornado touched down near Mechanicsville Saturday. [RELATED: Mechanicsville tornado with 7.4 mile path confirmed]

Extreme temperatures have also forced many localities across the state to open cooling shelters, since so many remain without power.

Stay with CBS 6 News and for the most complete coverage, before, during and after the storms.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Deadly storms slam Virginia, knock out power to millions