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Fallen trees snarl traffic and power lines

Karen Mahabir / AP

A tree sitting atop a vehicle offers free firewood in Falls Church, Va., Monday, July, 2, as cleanup continued after Friday's storm, Around 2 million utility customers are without electricity across a swath of states along the East Coast and as far west as Illinois as the area recovers from a round of summer storms that has also caused at least 17 deaths.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

With more triple-digit heat in the forecast, millions of people in the Mid-Atlantic area were without power over the weekend after violent storms with 80-mph gusts toppled trees, cut power lines and killed six people in Virginia alone.

From NBC, msnbc.com and news services - A weekend without electricity was already trying for millions in the sweltering, storm-swept mid-Atlantic region. But Monday morning brings another grim challenge when many embark on a difficult commute over roads with darkened stoplights and likely mass-transit delays.

To alleviate congestion around Baltimore and Washington, federal and state officials gave many workers the option of staying home Monday. Federal agencies will be open in Washington, but non-emergency employees have the option of taking leave or working from home. Maryland's governor also gave state workers wide leeway for staying out of the office. For more on the storm damage click here.