July 24, 2011 in Nation/World

East Coast to get relief from blistering heat

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Teresa Smit and Clifford, a 4-year-old mastiff Labrador mix, cool off by running through a sprinkler Saturday in New York.
(Full-size photo)

NEW YORK – A heat wave scorched the East Coast with another day of triple-digit temperatures on Saturday, forcing power authorities to throttle back the voltage to protect straining electrical grids as residents cranked up the air.

Temperatures reached 105 degrees in Atlantic City, N.J., 102 in Baltimore, nearly 101 in Washington, D.C., and 100 in Philadelphia and at New York’s Kennedy Airport, but humidity made it feel hotter most places across the region.

In New York’s Times Square, tourists crowded into patches of shade along a baking Broadway, where Tony Eckinger, 34, was selling spray bottles with fans attached for $30. He had bought them at a drug store earlier in the day for $15.

The heat will begin to ease today, but will remain in the 90s, National Weather Service meterologist Joe Pollina said.

“Monday is really when we see cooler air coming,” he said, with forecast temperatures sinking to the lower to middle 80s.

The bubble of hot air developed over the Midwest earlier this week and has caused more than a dozen deaths as it moved eastward. As of Saturday, the medical examiner’s office in Chicago listed heat stress or heat stroke as the cause of death for eight people.

In south-central Pennsylvania, authorities said a 63-year-old man in York died Friday of hyperthermia, or overheating, in an unventilated apartment where the temperature had reached 110 degrees. A 94-year-old man in Carroll Township also died after his air conditioner stopped working because of a tripped circuit breaker.

New York officials said water usage had soared as New Yorkers tried to keep cool. On Saturday, it hovered around 1.5 billion gallons a day, about 50 percent higher than normal, said Environmental Protection Commissioner Cass Holloway.

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