• Fri. Sep 23rd, 2022

Dangerous heat wave hits parts of Midwest and South

ByRandall B. Phelps

Jun 14, 2022

By KATHLEEN FOODY and CLAIRE SAVAGE

CHICAGO (AP) — Much of the Midwest and a swath of the South are bracing for a potentially dangerous and deadly heat wave on Tuesday, with temperatures that could hit record highs in some places and combine with humidity to give the feels like 100 degrees or warmer in places.

More than 100 million people are expected to be affected by midweek and authorities have warned residents to stay hydrated, stay indoors when possible and be aware of the health risks of high temperatures. Heavy storms brought heavy rain and damaging winds to many affected areas on Monday, and more than 400,000 customers were left without power Tuesday afternoon.

Excessive heat warnings were in effect for much of Illinois and Indiana as well as parts of southern Michigan and northwestern Ohio Tuesday through Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Heat index values ​​— which take temperature and relative humidity into account and indicate how hot it is outside — could approach 105 degrees, the weather service said.

“Full sun today will make it feel even hotter,” the weather service wrote. “There won’t be much relief for those without air conditioning today through Wednesday evening.”

Much of southeast Michigan — from south of Flint to the state’s borders with Ohio and Indiana — was placed on an excessive heat watch from Wednesday through Thursday morning as the warm front is expected to move to the east.

A heat advisory has also been issued, stretching as far north as Wisconsin to the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf Coast.

In Chicago, where a ferocious storm Monday night heralded temperatures expected to exceed 90 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday, the deaths of three women in May when temperatures soared into the 90s served as a reminder of the dangers of such heat – especially for people who live alone or have certain health problems.

Pat Clemmons, an 81-year-old resident of the apartment complex where the women died, said everything was fine Tuesday morning as temperatures soared. She said she had lived in the building for about 20 years and had never had any problems until “that awful Saturday” in May.

“They have all kinds of air conditioners, air blowers, fan jets and everything else…. I’m fine right now,” Clemmons said. “The air is on. You know they’re going to make everything work perfectly right now because of all the chaos that’s happened.

Officials encouraged Chicago residents to monitor their neighbors and loved ones and promptly report any cooling issues in their homes. The city opened six large cooling centers and encouraged people to cool off in libraries, park district buildings and other public places.

“The next two days will require us all to look out for each other and provide additional attention and resources to our vulnerable neighbors,” said Alisa Rodriguez, Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Department of Health Services and Support. Chicago family.

The Detroit suburb of Westland on Tuesday opened many of its public buildings as cooling stations, including its city hall, fire and police stations, library and community center. Residents can shelter from the heat, charge their cellphones and get bottled water there, the city said.

With a midday temperature of 95 degrees and a heat index pushing 110 degrees Tuesday in Birmingham, Alabama, Cindy Hanger sat down outside the food truck where she works. His face was flushed and his green T-shirt was drenched in sweat.

“I’m exhausted and hot, and I’m ready to go home and have a cold drink,” Hanger said.

Hanger works outside the small platform to take and fill orders while two parents work inside to cook. The arrangement suits him very well these days.

“Do you think it’s hot in here?” Imagine in there,” she said.

The heat was also stressing some electrical networks.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which serves 10 million people in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding Southern states, said Monday it saw record high electricity demand for a single day in June. It said it provided 31,311 megawatts of power at an average temperature of 94 degrees in its region, which broke the previous June record of 31,098 megawatts set on June 29, 2012.

The electricity supplier said similar demand could continue through the end of the week due to more expected hot and humid weather.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that more than 100 million people, not more than 100,000, could be affected by the heatwave.

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Associated Press reporters Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report. Claire Savage is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues.