Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat From Midwest to New York Not Taking Weekend Off

A heat wave that spread from the Midwest to the Northeast tormented millions of people with blasts of 100-degree temperatures and bog-like humidity as blackouts struck neighborhoods and deaths were blamed on the hot weather.

There was little hope that Saturday would bring much relief until the evening, with the National Weather Service warning of excessive heat in several states, including parts of Oklahoma, Indiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It predicted "oppressive heat" with temperatures at least in the 90s.

On Friday, the mercury in Newark, N.J., reached 108, the highest temperature ever recorded there. Airports near Washington and Baltimore hit 105. Philadelphia reached 104, Boston 103, Portland, Maine, and Concord, N.H., 101 and Providence, R.I., 100. New York City hit 104 degrees, just 2 short of its all-time high, and with the oppressive humidity, it felt like 113.

In Baltimore, a homeless Dale Brown said he buys a $3.50 day pass to ride the commuter rail system to stay cool -- and sober.

"I'm surprised more homeless people don't do that," he said. "That kills a lot of the day. One more day successful without drinking."

An old prison in Cranston, R.I., had to bring in portable air conditioners, fans and cold water for the 100 inmates on a cellblock with a broken AC. It had been out of commission for a month because it was so old a part had to be custom-made to fix it; the part is due Monday. (more)