Many Easterners still without power boiling mad in heat wave

(CBS News) SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Much of the country was still wrapped in an oppressive, dangerous heat wave Thursday.

Forecasters said temperatures would reach triple digits or the high nineties from the Plains to the East Coast.

Warnings about excessive heat were posted in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Maryland issued a heat advisory for the entire state.

And coping with the heat is that much harder if you don't have electricity to run air conditioners.

About 250,000 homes and businesses on the East Coast were still without power Thursday in the wake of last Friday's brutal storms.

Six days later, there are still many trees and power lines down across the Washington, D.C. metro area and, in many places, no clean-up crews in sight.

For many of the peoples affected, frustration was at a boil.

Storms death toll rises to 26

"At some point, there has to be a better system," complained Dexter Walker, of Bethesda, Md.

Dexter, his wife, Melissa Walker and their four children had to flee their home.

With a downed tree and tangled power lines in their front yard Wednesday, utility crews still hadn't arrived to repair the damage.

"They haven't shown up. We haven't gotten a phone call. Nothing," Melissa griped.

Power crews from 18 states and Canada have descended on the D.C. area to tackle the outages.

Joel Weatherford, from Georgia, was managing one of those teams.

He says the storm's damage was so widespread, it was like that of a tornado, and repairs would take time. "They're so scattered, it makes it so hard," he observed.

The searing heat wasn't only affecting humans.

Following the storm, people flooded the Greenbriar Pet Resort in Frederick, Md., seeking cooler conditions for their animals.

"It was just crazy running back and forth," says Jennifer Cline, a tech at the kennel, which normally holds 400 dogs.

Already at its capacity, Greenbriar agreed to take in an extra 150 pets.

"I had to move dogs all around. That way, we could make more room for dogs coming in," she says. " ... Anything their owners want, we go ahead and provide it."

Major power companies in the area say they've restored power to more than 90 percent of their customers. They hope to have everyone back online by late Friday, but for many, that can't come soon enough.

To see Whit Johnson's report, click on the video in the player above.

  • Whit Johnson

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