BALTIMORE (AP) — More Mid-Atlantic residents were a little more comfortable Thursday as power companies hooked them back up with lights and air conditioning over the Fourth of July holiday.
The number without power was diminishing Thursday though not quickly enough for those still in the sweltering dark. More than 500,000 customers were still out with many of the outages — nearly 230,000 — in West Virginia.
Pepco got some of the harshest criticism. As of Thursday morning, the utility said it had restored power to more than 90 percent of its customers in the nation's capital and Maryland suburbs.
More than 2 million people at one point lost power from wicked storms that converged on Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Indiana, Ohio and New Jersey. They packed winds topping 70 mph in some places, uprooting trees and damaging homes.
Officials blamed the storms for 26 deaths.
Meanwhile, a new round of summer storms was making its way across Michigan and Ohio, knocking down trees and power lines. Wind gusts above 60 mph were reported as storms crossed Michigan's Lower Peninsula, the National Weather Service said. In Ohio, downed power lines prompted the closure of a section of Interstate 670 that links downtown Columbus with the city's main airport. The highway reopened by the Thursday morning rush hour.
An American beech tree lies on Capitol Hill grounds in Washington, Saturday, June 30, 2012, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, background, after a powerful storms swept across the eastern U.S. Friday evening. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Frances Lukens looks at the tangle of boards and tree limbs piercing her living room ceiling in Lynchburg, Va. on Saturday, June 30, 2012 after a huge oak tree fell directly on the house during a storm the previous night. (AP Photo/The News & Advance, Parker Michels-Boyce)
In this Friday, June 29, 2012 photo, a car sits damaged from where a brick wall fell on it from the second story of a store in Columbus Grove, Ohio. The bricks fell on and crushed two vehicles as strong winds tore through the region Friday afternoon. (AP Photo/The Lima News, Jay Sowers)
A tree sitting atop a vehicle offers free firewood in Falls Church, Va., Monday, July, 2, 2012, as cleanup continued after Friday's storm, Around 2 million utility customers are without electricity across a swath of states along the East Coast and as far west as Illinois as the area recovers from a round of summer storms that has also caused at least 17 deaths. (AP Photo/Karen Mahabir)
A utility pole is cracked in half by a downed tree on a residential street in Arlington, Va., Sunday, July 1, 2012. Severe storms swept through the area leaving many homes and businesses without electricity. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Marcia McCloud (right) and her great-granddaughter Makayla Milton, find some comfort together at the Red Cross cooling shelter at Sandusky Middle School in Lynchburg, Va., July 1, 2012. Milton was visiting her great-grandmother Friday when the storm hit and the two were forced to find other shelter. McCloud explained, "It's like a vacation, vacation away from home!" (AP Photo/The News & Advance, Parker Michels-Boyce)
Joe Tiago takes pictures of a downed utility pole and electric transformer on Old Keene Mill Road, Sunday, July 1, 2012 in Springfield Va. A severe storm late Friday knocked out power to approximately one million residents, traffic signals and businesses in the region. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Residents of the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, navigate underneath a downed tree, Sunday, July 1, 2012. A severe storm late Friday, June 29th knocked out power to approximately one million residents, traffic signals and businesses in the region. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
A worker uses a chainsaw to clear a tree that fell onto the 14th fairway at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Saturday, June 30, 2012, after a strong storm blew through overnight. The AT&T National golf tournament was postponed to allow workers to clear the course. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A van and boat sit crushed by fallen trees, as crews work to restore power Saturday, June, 30, 2012, in Northfield, N.J. Severe thunderstorms packing heavy rain, lightning and strong winds that gusted up to 70 mph hit the state Saturday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands and killing at least two. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Using crutches, Cooper Scott talks about the car where he and his mother were trapped in Lynchburg, Va. Saturday, June 30, 2012 after a large oak tree fell on them during the storm the night before. Both spent most of the night in the hospital but were back at home by Saturday morning. (AP Photo/The News & Advance, Parker Michels-Boyce)
Marilyn Golias, right, looks at the remains of a utility pole which fell across the street from her house in Falls Church, Va., Saturday, June 30, 2012. Millions across the mid-Atlantic region sweltered Saturday in the aftermath of violent storms that pummeled the eastern U.S. with high winds and downed trees, killing at least 13 people and leaving 3 million without power during a triple-digit heat wave. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Lighting flashes Saturday morning, June, 30, 2012 in Hebron Md.. Violent storms swept across the eastern U.S., killing at least nine people and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands on a day that temperatures across the region are expected to reach triple-digits. (AP photo by Salisbury Daily Times, Kristin Roberts)
Cesar de Jesus,
Cesar de Jesus, 4, from Riverdale, Md., play peek-a-boo from under a Red Cross blanket at a Red Cross shelter at Northwestern High School gym Saturday, June 30, 2012 in Hyattsville, Md. near Washington. Violent evening storms following a day of triple-digit temperatures wiped out power to more than 2 million people across the eastern United States. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In this photo taken Friday, June 29, 2012 shows a trampoline smashed into the side of the garage in Lima, Ohio. Violent storms swept across the eastern U.S., killing at least 10 people and knocking out power to millions of people on a day that temperatures across the region are expected to reach triple-digits. The storms were blamed for the deaths of six people in Virginia; two in New Jersey; one in Ohio; and another in Maryland. (AP Photo/The Lima News, Gretchen White)
Larry Pellino repairs the site of the AIDS Memorial Quilt display damaged by a powerful storm that swept across the Washington region Friday, at the National Mall in Washington Saturday, June 30, 2012. Organizers of the quilt display are planning to put the exhibit back on Sunday. Violent storms swept across the eastern U.S., killing at least nine people and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands on a day that temperatures across the region are expected to reach triple-digits. Officials said about 500,000 people were without power in West Virginia. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
A tree lies on top of a storage building at the home Saturday, June 30, 2012 in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)
A passing storm brought a halt to rides Friday, June 29, 2012 at the 26th annual Italian-American Festival being held this weekend at the Stark County Fairgrounds in Canton, Ohio. A wave of violent storms sweeping through the mid-Atlantic following a day of record-setting heat in Washington, D.C., has knocked out power to nearly 2 million people. The storms converged Friday night on Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency after more than 500,000 customers in 27 counties were left without electricity. (AP Photo/The Repository, Bob Rossiter)
A tree toppled by severe storms sits atop a car in Washington's Dupont Circle neighborhood on Saturday, June 30, 2012 in Washington. More than two million people across the eastern U.S. lost power after violent storms and two people died, including a 90-year-old woman asleep in bed when a tree slammed into her home, a police spokeswoman said Saturday. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)
Clouds roll over Mundelein, Ill., as a storm moves through the area Friday, June 29, 2012.(AP photo/Daily Herald, Steve Lundy)
Raw Video: Storms Kill 3 in North Carolina
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