July 01, 2012
Violent storms that tore through the eastern United States late Friday have left at least 12 people dead and more than 3 million without power.
The storms hit the region amid a record heat wave, uprooting trees, knocking down power lines. Emergencies have been declared in Washington, along with four states - Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.
The State of Emergency declaration typically gives governors the option of activating National Guard troops, and lets them use resources to support the safety of citizens.
Six deaths were reported in Virginia, two in New Jersey, two in Maryland and one each in Ohio and Kentucky - most the result of fallen trees.
Widespread power outages spanned the region, with officials saying it could be days before all electricity is restored.
Many of the outages were centered in the U.S. capital and surrounding areas, where broken tree branches littered the streets. Some residents are under mandatory water restrictions.
The Washington area power company - Potomac Electric Power Company, or PEPCO - says it could be a week before power is restored to some 378,000 customers in the nation's capital and the suburban Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George's. A company spokesperson says at the height of the outages Friday night, 443,000 customers were without electricity.
The spokesperson said late Saturday the company has 800 crew members working around the clock to restore service, and the company expects several dozen more crews from Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma to arrive by Monday to help restore service.
Temperatures in Washington reached a record 40 degrees Celsius Friday. Continued extreme temperatures Saturday prompted officials of golf's AT&T National just outside Washington to suspended play for several hours. Extreme heat is expected again Sunday.
tear (v) 飛跑；狂奔
heat wave (n. phr) 熱浪
declare (v) 宣佈，宣告
option (n) 選擇；選擇權
activate (v) 使活動起來
“to declare emergencies”是政府「宣佈進入緊急狀態」(The State of Emergency declaration)；這給予州長面臨危害時，動用(activate)國民(後備)兵(National Guard troops)的選項(option)，也可以更有效的利用資源(resources)來確保人民安全(safety of citizens)。
power outage (n. phr) 斷電
restore (v) 恢復
mandatory (a) 強制的
water restriction (n. phr) 限水
at the height of (prep phr) 在. . .高峰狀態
around the clock (prep phr) 日以繼夜地
"around the clock"這個片語也可以用連字號連起來，變成形容詞使用：around-the-clock。亦有另一拼法，round-the-clock，都是指「二十四小時不中斷的」。
強風把樹連根拔起，也吹斷了電纜線(uprooting trees, knocking down power lines)，造成大規模的斷電(widespread power outages)。周五晚間，斷電規模最大時(at the height of the outages Friday night)，華盛頓有四十多萬用戶斷電。電力公司有八百位員工(crew members)正24小時待命，搶修復電(working around the clock to restore service)。
prompt (v) 促使
suspend (v) 暫時取消(或擱置)
華盛頓溫度達攝氏四十度，創下高溫紀錄(a record 40 degrees Celcius)。持續的高溫(continued extreme temperatures)促使進行中的高爾夫球賽事暫停(suspend play)數小時。
Fill in the blanks with one of the words or phrase from the word list above. After you finish, use mouse drag to select the text to reveal the hidden answer.
1. Her mysterious manner prompted him to ask question.
2. It is mandatory for blood banks to test all donated blood for the virus.
3. The swimming club is open to families in the neighborhood without restriction.
4. The nursing home provides round-the-clock medical care.
5. This cream claims to restore your skin to its youthful condition.
6. The burglar alarm is activated by movement.