By Scott DiSavino
(Reuters) - More than 2.1 million people from Illinois to Virginia remained without power Monday morning after violent storms struck over the weekend, and a heat wave continued to blanket much of the region.
The storms left more than three million homes and businesses without the power needed to run air conditioners during the heat wave, and claimed at least 15 lives, mostly from falling trees and branches across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.
American Electric Power Co Inc said Monday morning that crews were working to restore power to 465,000 customers in Virginia and West Virginia, 416,000 in Ohio, 52,000 in Indiana and 14,000 in Kentucky.
Ohio-based AEP, which distributes power to 5 million customers in 11 states, said on its website it could take a few days to restore power to all.
Virginia power company Dominion Resources Inc said it still had over 270,000 customers without electricity in its Virginia and North Carolina service areas.
Dominion said it had restored power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses.
Temperatures in Richmond, the capital of Virginia, were expected to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) on Monday, 98 on Tuesday and 100 again on Wednesday, the July 4th U.S. Independence Day holiday, before dipping to 92 on Thursday, according to AccuWeather.com.
FirstEnergy of Ohio said Sunday it had 314,000 customers out in its five-state service area of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. That was down from about the 566,000 affected by the storms.
Illinois-based Exelon said its Baltimore Gas & Electric (BG&E) unit in Maryland had about 233,000 customers out, down from about 600,000 homes and businesses affected.
Washington, DC-based Pepco Holdings said it had more than 235,000 customers out in the District of Columbia and Maryland and over 100,000 out in New Jersey.
(Reporting By Scott DiSavino in New York and NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; editing by John Wallace and John Picinich)