Image: Fountain in Philadelphia
Justin Maxon  /  AP
Children cool off Tuesday at a fountain in Philadelphia, where the heat wave claimed nine lives.
updated 6/11/2008 6:52:02 PM ET 2008-06-11T22:52:02

The heat wave that gripped the East Coast over the weekend and into Tuesday claimed the lives of 17 people, and most of the victims were elderly.

The Philadelphia medical examiner's office said eight people there died of heat-related causes in the four days of scorching temperatures. A 65-year-old man also died of sunstroke in the Philadelphia suburb of Pottstown, Pa., while sunbathing.

Six others died in New York City and two died in Maryland.

The Philadelphia victims ranged in age from 65 to 95. Five of the six people who died in New York were over 70 and were found in their homes.

One of the two men who died in Maryland collapsed after using a push lawnmower in the heat.

The region suffered through temperatures in the high 90s from Saturday through Tuesday. High humidity made it feel like it was in the 100s in much of the region.

Storms overnight knocked out power to tens of thousands. PECO reported 56,000 customers without electric service in the Philadelphia area Wednesday afternoon. PSE&G had 89,000 customers without power in New Jersey.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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