A powerful storm hit the U.S. capital on Friday, downing trees with wind gusts of up to 79 miles per hour (127 kph), topping hurricane force levels and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes in the Washington area.
WJAL Television reported one fatality in Fairfax County, Virginia, after a tree fell on a car.
Bands of rain lashed the city and winds toppled power lines and littered the streets with tree limbs as the fast-moving storm, which started in the Midwest after a day of severe heat, reached Washington and its suburbs late in the evening.
WTOP radio said more than 800,000 people in the Washington area were without power.
The Washington Post said it had reports of winds gusting up to 79 miles per hour in Reston, Virginia.
There were power outages in several Washington Metro stations, the Post said, after a day of extreme heat across the southern and eastern United States.
A flash flood warning was issued in Fredrick County, Maryland, until 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, and severe storm warnings were issued in areas between Washington and the Chesapeake Bay to the east.
WUSA television in Washington said "thousands of trees" and tree branches were likely downed by the storm.
The storms had swept across much of the Midwest during the afternoon and early evening, moving at speeds estimated at 50 mph (80 kph).
Temperature records for the month of June were broken on Friday in Washington, Atlanta and Louisville, Kentucky. In all three cities, the temperature hit at least 104 F (40 C), according to the National Weather Service.
© Thomson Reuters 2012