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Storms Darken Loudoun Homes

More than 6,800 Loudoun residents were left without power last week on Tuesday as a summer thunderstorm rolled through Northern Virginia.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, 550 residents remained without power, though Dominion Virginia Power expected to restore power by the end of the day.

"We've pulled repair crews from other parts of the state to come to Northern Virginia to restore services as quickly as possible," said David Botkins, spokesman for Dominion.

About 72,000 of Dominion's Northern Virginia customers went without power on Tuesday. The next day, 6,450 customers still remained without power.

"It's a very significant storm and overall the worst of the summer so far," Botkins said.

A high-pressure area sitting over the Midwest was strong enough to move down to western Pennsylvania and into northern West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, according to Calvin Meadows, meteorologist technician for the National Weather Service. The storm, which hit Maryland at about 3:40 p.m. and continued until 7 p.m., produced high-winds that pushed down trees and power lines. Most of the power outages in the Northern Virginia area were caused by lightning, high winds and trees falling on power lines.

Power lines were downed and eight homes damaged by trees in the Route 7 area from Broad Runs Farm to Countryside, according to Weather Service reports. The outage of the Route 7 grid caused half of the 150 stores and tenants in the Dulles Town Center to be without power for four hours starting at 4:40 p.m. The tenants were located on the Nordstrom side of the Town Center from Hecht’s to Sears, while the tenants on the other side had power.

"We asked our tenants to close the gates on that side of the mall only and to stay in close proximity to their stores when the power came back on," said Allison Fischer, director of marketing for the Town Center. "Our traffic base didn't go down at all.… It could have been such an inconvenience, [but] everyone was smiling. Everyone was understanding. It was an experience we could look back on where we came together as a team."