Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Thousands still enduring heat without power

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(CNN) — The number of households without power dropped Thursday, but for the half a million people still in the dark after last week’s heat-driven storms, life was just as uncomfortable.

The thermometer was still hovering around the 100-degree mark in many places, and it’s not likely to move much until the start of next week.

More than 400,000 customers were still without power in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington, D.C.

That was after many in those states spent the Fourth of July much like the Founding Fathers may have — weltering in darkness.

Utility companies have been slowly restoring power in affected areas after the storm last weekend left millions without power.

The storm left at least 22 people dead from Ohio to New Jersey — 13 of them in Virginia. Another three people in North Carolina died in a second round of storms Sunday.

More record-breaking temperatures were in store Thursday from Chicago to St. Louis to the nation’s capital. The heat could bring with it a new round of thunderstorms.

But a Canadian cold front making its way south is expected to bring temperatures back down to normal by Monday. In some places, that could mean a 20-degree drop.

In the meantime, people without power were emptying refrigerators filled with rotting food and desperately seeking respite from the sizzle.

By the CNN Wire Staff
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