Weather woes overshadow Fourth of July in US

More than a million customers in the storm-hit United States remained without power Wednesday, as canceled firework displays and no air-conditioning made for a miserable July 4 holiday for many Americans.

A fierce band of thunderstorms, packing hurricane force winds, tore across the country on Friday, wreaking havoc from Illinois to Ohio to Kentucky, and causing particularly widespread destruction in and around the capital Washington.

Falling trees snapped power lines and companies struggled to get power back to many families, sweating again in sweltering conditions on Wednesday as the mercury soared back above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

West Virginia, one of nine states impacted by the inclement weather, had the highest number of customers without power at roughly 317,000, according to a release from the US Department of Energy Wednesday morning.

Some 20 deaths are attributed to the weather.

Traditional barbeque events had to be re-arranged as partygoers looked for respite in cooling shelters.

The National Weather Service, meanwhile, warned of large hail and damaging winds in the Great Lakes region, especially in northern Minnesota, potentially throwing a wrench into festivities there.

In Chicago, the sizzling heat could make this year's holiday the hottest in a century.

Elsewhere, in arid areas such as the western state of Colorado where wildfires have been raging, community firework celebrations, an annual draw for young and old alike, were scrapped to avoid sparking more blazes that have left hundreds homeless.

The election heat was also intensifying as President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney sought to capitalize on the patriotic undertones of the day, which marks the 236th year of independence from British rule.

Obama held a naturalization ceremony for active duty members in the White House mid-morning and was expected to host a barbeque complete with a concert and fireworks later in the day.

"No other nation constantly renews itself, refreshes itself with the hopes, and the drive, and the optimism, and the dynamism of each new generation of immigrants," Obama told the group.

His speech to people who had immigrated from as far afield as Guatemala, Nigeria and Ukraine was a clear nod to a recent shift in his administration's immigration policy that could help the Democrat secure a second term.

"You're one of the reasons why, even after two centuries, America is always young, always looking to the future, always confident that our greatest days are still to come," Obama said.

Romney, taking a week off to spend time with his family at an upscale lakeside property in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, was due to participate in a parade in the New England town as cameras rolled.

"As we gather to enjoy food and fireworks, let us also take a moment to pay tribute to the patriots who signed the Declaration of Independence -- and the brave men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms through every generation that has followed," he said in a statement.

"With so many around the world still consigned to tyranny, the Fourth of July is a time to appreciate the blessing of liberty and be thankful that we are Americans."

Despite the dire scenarios faced by many, large scale celebrations were still going forward in cities like New York and Boston where singer Jennifer Hudson was set to perform.

Headlines of quirky Fourth of July traditions also were not to be missed.

An annual hotdog-eating competition in New York, for one, saw Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas successfully defend her title after setting a new world record by downing 45 frankfurters.

Thomas' male counterpart, Joey "Jaws" chestnut, crammed 68 hot dogs down his throat, matching his 2009 record.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar
    South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar

    South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down a controversial adultery law which for more than 60 years had criminalised extra-marital sex and jailed violators for up to two years. The decision saw shares in the South Korean firm Unidus Corp., one of the world's largest condom manufacturers, soar by the daily limit of 15 percent on the local stock exchange. "Even if adultery should be condemned as immoral, state power should not intervene in individuals' private lives," said …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • Purisima denies endorsing successor
    Purisima denies endorsing successor

    Resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima denied reports that he has been urging President Aquino to appoint his protegé as the new police chief. “Contrary to news reports, PDG Alan La Madrid Purisima is not in any position to recommend and has not in fact recommended anyone to the President for appointment as next chief of the PNP,” his lawyer Kristoffer James Purisima said yesterday. Sources said that Purisima may have resigned but he reportedly remains …

  • IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate
    IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate

    "Jihadi John", the masked Islamic State group militant believed responsible for beheading of at least five Western hostages, has been named as Kuwaiti-born computing graduate Mohammed Emwazi from London. "Jihadi John", nicknamed after Beatle John Lennon due to his British accent, is believed to be responsible for the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig. …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options