The violent storms that battered the eastern US last night have taken a heavy toll: Authorities say at least nine people are dead. NBC Washington reports that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell joined West Virginia in declaring a state of emergency this morning and confirmed that six people in his state were killed by falling trees. He also put the scope of the power outage into perspective, saying it was the largest non-hurricane outage in Virginia's history.
Two young cousins in New Jersey were killed when a tree fell on their tent while camping, and police in Maryland said a man was killed when a tree fell onto his car. Hundreds of thousands in Washington, DC, remain without power, with temperatures projected to top 100 degrees. The AP notes that Amtrak halted DC-to-Philly service this morning. (Read more East Coast stories.)