Powerful storms pound BOTH coasts as woman and her two dogs die in lightning strike while hiking in LA and 70,000 are out of power in Virginia after area is walloped by strong winds

  • Severe thunderstorms struck both the West and East Coast on Wednesday morning, bringing powerful lightning and storm winds that devastated Los Angeles and Central Virginia
  • The LA sheriff's office confirmed a woman and her dogs were struck directly by lightning and killed in the morning while firefighters worked to put out flames caused by the lightning 
  • In Virginia, 70,000 were left without power after dozens of trees were downed by the powerful gusts, which are expected to continue through the East Coast with winds between 60 to 80 mph 
  • The eastern storms came after a heat wave and a cold front collided on Wednesday morning
  • The cold front is coming off the Atlantic in the northeast, pushing to the southwest in the evening causing possible flooding on the East Coast as the storms continue

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Powerful storms bombarded both the East and West Coast on Wednesday, with lightning strikes killing a woman and her dogs in Los Angeles while 70,000 were left without power in Virginia.  

L.A. County Sheriff's Sgt. Patrick Morey said the LA woman was walking her two dogs along the Pico Rivera riverbed on Wednesday morning when they were struck by lightning. 

'There's a one-in-a-million chance of something like this happening and it happened,' Morey told the LA Times as he warned residents to stay indoors amid the dangerous storms hitting Southern California

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, 70,000 Virginians were left without power in the Richmond area after severe thunderstorms hit with 60-mile-per hour winds, ABC 8 reported. 

The storm has downed dozens of trees in the area as a severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 10 p.m. 

The hectic weather across the country has compounded travel woes as 3,081 flights in the U.S. have been canceled and more than 4,500 flight delays within, to, or out of America have been reported today, according to Flight Aware.  

Thunder storms hit Southern California on Wednesday, with lighting setting trees on fire and also killing a woman and her two dogs while she was walking them along the riverbed in Pico Rivera

Thunder storms hit Southern California on Wednesday, with lighting setting trees on fire and also killing a woman and her two dogs while she was walking them along the riverbed in Pico Rivera

Firefighters have been running throughout Los Angeles and Southern California to put out fires caused by lightning

Firefighters have been running throughout Los Angeles and Southern California to put out fires caused by lightning

Officials urged residents to stay in their homes as the storm brought down trees and wreaked havoc

Officials urged residents to stay in their homes as the storm brought down trees and wreaked havoc

Residents in Central Virginia are seeing the effects of Wednesday's devastating storms as they bombard the area with torrential rain, causing trees to fall

Residents in Central Virginia are seeing similar devastation as powerful thunderstorms continue to bombard the area

About 70,000 residents were left without power after the storm took down trees and branches

About 70,000 residents were left without power after the storm took down trees and branches

The storm brought gusts between 60 to 80 mph in Richmond and other cities in Virginia

The storm brought gusts between 60 to 80 mph in Richmond and adjacent cities in Virginia

The National Weather Service had issued an advisory for areas in Southern California on Wednesday, warning residents to seek shelter from the severe weather. 

Beaches in the area were temporarily closed ahead of flood and thunder warnings, with the main areas affected included Long Beach, downtown LA, Glendale, San Gabriel Valley and Antelope Valley. 

 Ryan Kittell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, told the LA Times that lighting remains a high concern among emergency officials after the rain subsides because the subsequent dry ground could become a huge fire threat. 

'In the last hour we've had 208 lightning strikes that have hit the ground in Los Angeles County,' Kittell said. 'Lightning is a very good fire-starting source and the environment is pretty ripe for fire right now,'

Firefighters have already dealt with at least two brush fires in the area, while the Los Angeles National Forest crews said numerous smoke reports have been called in due to the lightning. 

Officials are warning that powerful lightning strikes in LA could be the catalyst for fires in the area

Officials are warning that powerful lightning strikes in LA could be the catalyst for fires in the area

Pictured, a tree ripped in half by the powerful gusts in LA as officials work to clear the debris

Pictured, a tree ripped in half by the powerful gusts in LA as officials work to clear the debris 

Angeles National Forest firefighters have responded to multiple smoke signals on Wednesday during the storm

Angeles National Forest firefighters have responded to multiple smoke signals on Wednesday during the storm

The LA sheriff's office confirmed a woman and her dogs were struck directly by lightning and killed on Wednesday morning

The LA sheriff's office confirmed a woman and her dogs were struck directly by lightning and killed on Wednesday morning

The East Coast is also contending with its own severe storms that will continue throughout the night and into Thursday with winds between 60 to 80 mph are expected. 

Central Virginia was among the hardest hit areas, with 70,000 people losing power in Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover, according to Dominion Energy. 

WTOP's Dave Dildine reported major damage in Fauquier County, where officials said there were more than 50 trees and large branches downed along Interstate 66. 

The devastation comes less than a week after Central Virginia was struck by three tornados, wrecking homes and taking out the power for thousands. 

 Mark and Kim Taylor, of Goochland, told ABC 8 that the scene was 'like a nightmare' as their house was littered with trees that were knocked down following the storms last week. 

'The governor, the president, somebody needs to come down here and give us some help,' Kim said. 'Thirty trees, $20,000 worth of damage.'

Major damages from the storm was also reported in Chesterfield, Virginia, with one home's roof caving in

Major damages from the storm was also reported in Chesterfield, Virginia, with one home's roof caving in 

In Richmond, the powerful gusts ripped through the walls of a dilapidated building

In Richmond, the powerful gusts ripped through the walls of a dilapidated building 

Dozens of downed trees scattered throughout Central Virginia have left 70,000 without power

Dozens of downed trees scattered throughout Central Virginia have left 70,000 without power

Pictured: A roof collapsing at an apartment complex in Richmond following the initial storm on Wednesday

Pictured: A roof collapsing at an apartment complex in Richmond following the initial storm on Wednesday 

A dome of extreme heat that has baked much of the central United States for the past week is expected to collide with a cold front that could bring flash flooding as the blazing temperatures are set to go even higher — with more records predicted to fall today. 

Many Americans across the central United States felt the brunt of the heat wave on the official first day of summer yesterday with temperatures reaching triple digits in some areas. 

And while forecasts indicate that more dangerous heat is expected in some areas this week, as the heat dome moves off to the southeast, temperatures will scale back some on the East Coast with the help of incoming thunderstorms, AccuWeather meteorologists say. 

A cold front coming off the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast will push to the southwest on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening, bringing strong winds, rain and possible flash flooding on the East Coast. 

A dome of extreme heat is expected to collide with a cold front that could bring flash flooding as the blazing temperatures are set to go even higher

A dome of extreme heat is expected to collide with a cold front that could bring flash flooding as the blazing temperatures are set to go even higher

A cold front coming off the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast will push to the southwest on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening, bringing rain and possible flash flooding

A cold front coming off the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast will push to the southwest on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening, bringing rain and possible flash flooding

The heaviest line of storms are expected to hit the Washington, D.C. area and parts of the East Coast on Wednesday afternoon into the evening, FOX5 reported, possibly affecting the evening commute. 

The storm system will be moving north to south and with this type of motion, the storm has the distinction of being slow-moving. And with the threat of heavy downpours throughout the evening in some areas, flash flooding is a concern. 

Model projections suggest that scattered areas could see 2-4 inches of rainfall out of the heaviest storms, FOX5 reported. Multiple storms over the same area are also a concern.  

While flash flood watches have not yet been issued, parts of the East Coast region could be covered with one by this evening. 

Those who live in flood-prone areas should take proper precautions, and if driving, remember to 'turn around, don't drown' if you come across any flooded roadways.

Excessive heat is expected to return Thursday to most of the country. High temperatures will range from 5-15 degrees above average for the week, Accuweather reported

Excessive heat is expected to return Thursday to most of the country. High temperatures will range from 5-15 degrees above average for the week, Accuweather reported

Warning graphic issued by NOAA to prevent the risks of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. Forecasts indicate that dangerous heat is expected for the remainder of the week

Warning graphic issued by NOAA to prevent the risks of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. Forecasts indicate that dangerous heat is expected for the remainder of the week

Excessive heat is expected to return Thursday to most of the country. High temperatures will range from 5-15 degrees above average for the week, Accuweather reported. 

Cities including Dallas, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Shreveport, Louisiana are expected to reach 100 degrees.   

New Orleans could see a 5- to 10-degree spike in high temperatures. The record highs of 101 set in 2009 and 97 set in 2016 could be challenged this coming Friday and Saturday, it was reported. 

'While temperatures and humidity levels ease a bit for the end of the week in parts of the Midwest, more dangerous temperatures and humidity will return by the upcoming weekend,' AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dean DeVore said.

Temperatures in St. Louis Saturday are forecast to possibly break the record of 102 set in 1954. In Nashville, temperatures could surpass the 100 mark set in 1988 on the same day.

People flocked to pools, beaches and cooling centers across the Midwest and South spanning from northern Florida to the Great Lakes over the past week as the heat wave pushed temperatures into the 90s and beyond.

A woman sun bathes at Lake Temescal at the Temescal Regional Recreation Area in Oakland, California, on June 21, 2022 - the first day of Summer

A woman sun bathes at Lake Temescal at the Temescal Regional Recreation Area in Oakland, California, on June 21, 2022 - the first day of Summer

Kids cool off at Lake Temescal at the Temescal Regional Recreation Area in Oakland, California, on June 21 during a heat wave

Kids cool off at Lake Temescal at the Temescal Regional Recreation Area in Oakland, California, on June 21 during a heat wave

A man leaps into Lake Michigan along the lakefront near Oak Street Beach while sunbathers soak up record-breaking temperatures

A man leaps into Lake Michigan along the lakefront near Oak Street Beach while sunbathers soak up record-breaking temperatures 

Certain parts of the country, including New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, reached record-breaking highs over the week-end, surpassing 97F and 100F respectively on Saturday — breaking the 1913 record of 100F in Mobile.

Minneapolis and St. Louis in Minnesota saw local weather reach about 101F Monday (38C), accompanied by high humidity that made conditions feel close to 110F (43C).

The Twin Cities are seeing its roads cave in under the heat and two areas on I-35 in the Minneapolis area are now closed as of a result, according to Kare11.

'MSP has just reached 99[F], which is a new daily record (surpassing the old record of 98 set in 1933)! Let's see if we can hit 100,' the National Weather Service Twin Cities tweeted on Monday. The heat index in the area reached a high of 105F that day.

Roads in Minnesota's capital are starting to crumple under the excessive heat, creating dangerous hazards for drivers

Roads in Minnesota's capital are starting to crumple under the excessive heat, creating dangerous hazards for drivers

The Minnesota Department of Transportation shared several pictures of parts of I-35 caving in (pictured). The Interstate travels all the way up to Minnesota from border town Laredo, Texas

The Minnesota Department of Transportation shared several pictures of parts of I-35 caving in (pictured). The Interstate travels all the way up to Minnesota from border town Laredo, Texas

Temperatures reached 108F (42C) in northwest Kansas last Monday. Western parts of the state and the Texas panhandle nearly reached 110 degrees over the week-end.

Last week, The Kansas Department of Health and Environment knew of at least 2,000 cattle deaths due to high temperatures and humidity. 

The deaths represent a huge economic loss because the animals, which typically weigh around 1,500 pounds, are worth around $2,000 per head, spokeswoman for the Kansas Livestock Association Scarlett Hagins said.

Last weeks, temperature readings reported for Kansas began to exceed the 100-degree mark, killing thousands of cattle in the area

Last weeks, temperature readings reported for Kansas began to exceed the 100-degree mark, killing thousands of cattle in the area

Electric companies in the Southeast said they were ready to tackle the second heat wave this week in affected areas as more people are expected to stay indoors and blast their air conditioners.

'This is our 'Super Bowl' that we prepare all year for. We are ready to go!' Tennessee Valley Authority Spokesman Scott Fiedler told CNN in a statement.

Entergy, a power supplier mostly present in states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, said it expects in increase in power in areas across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Orleans, and Texas, and expects to reach unprecedented energy levels.

Preparing for extreme heat is a process that goes on year-round at Oncor — the largest electric utility company in Texas and the fifth in the entire country. It serves more than 10million Texans.

'Our maintenance strategy department starts looking at data analytics and analyzing areas of vulnerability that we could really be focusing on for summer prep,' said Senior Design Manager and former Assistant District Manager Elizabeth Barrett on the company's website.

'We're looking at any areas that could be overloaded,' she added. 'Overloaded transformers. We're using meter data consistently to look at how those transformers could be affected by the increased load and whether or not those transformers need to be possibly changed out.'

Wildfires have also recently emerged in the southwest, mostly in Arizona throughout the last two weeks. Pictured: A wildfire moving through grass, brush and pine trees on the northern outskirts of Flagstaff, Arizona on June 15

Wildfires have also recently emerged in the southwest, mostly in Arizona throughout the last two weeks. Pictured: A wildfire moving through grass, brush and pine trees on the northern outskirts of Flagstaff, Arizona on June 15

And the worst may be yet to come. Nighttime temperatures have been hotter than previous years as conditions are expected to be around 100F, not providing much of a relief for a good night's sleep.

The heatwave succeeds wide-ranging weather conditions across the counties last week, which saw millions of people struck by triple-digit temperatures and historic flooding in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and Montana.

Wildfires have also taken place in Arizona and New Mexico, where conditions in the Phoenix are closer to 110F than 100F.

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Storms pound BOTH coasts as woman and her dogs die in LA and 70,000 are out of power in Virginia

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