Friday, July 22, 2011

America set for rolling blackouts in deadly heatwave as 55 cities swelter in record high temperatures - 22nd July 2011

Utilities across the U.S. have threatened rolling blackouts to cope with high demand due to this week's heat wave as temperatures climb near 100 in the northeast.

Con Edison is warning customers to expect scattered outages for the next few days as the power grid is stressed at capacity.

As the sixth day of the scorching summer heat draws to a close, officials are urging customers to conserve energy, with the heat wave that has claimed at least 22 lives expected to intensify through the weekend.

The National Weather Service said today the U.S. hit 55 record highs on Wednesday, including Walsh, Colorado, at 104; Garden City, Kansas, at 108; and Gage, Oklahoma, at 107, according to early reports.

About 7,000 Chicago residents have already been left without power, CNN affiliate WGN-TV reported, with Con Edison officials working through the night to get power back up.

And the oppressive temperatures are on expected to intensify on Friday.

The National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings across the Mid-West and East Coast, forecasting the heat index could reach up to 115 degrees on Saturday.

AccuWeather.com forecaster Mary Yoon told MSNBC.com: 'Through the rest of this week and into the weekend at least 15 states starting from the Southern Plains and Midwest and much of the Northeast will witness 90 degree plus temperatures with high humidity.' Read More