WASHINGTON - Powerful storms struck the mid-Atlantic states with hurricane-force gusts on Friday, knocking out power to more than one million people in the region and prompting the West Virginia governor to declare a statewide emergency.

The US National Weather Service posted a severe thunderstorm watch for portions of the District of Columbia, eastern Kentucky, western Maryland, southwestern Pennsylvania, much of Virginia and parts of West Virginia.

The advisory, which warned of wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour (129 km per hour) and large hail, was to remain in effect until early Saturday morning.

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