Video: Northeast bakes in tenacious heat

  1. Closed captioning of: Northeast bakes in tenacious heat

    >>> there wasn't much in the way of relief today from the heat that's been baking a large part of the nation for the past week. a heat advisory extended over 28 states, including new york, where the weather channel 's eric fisher joins us now from jones beach . eric?

    >> reporter: good evening, lester. the hottest time of the year is living up to its name. today was another day of record setting heat, places in new york city , philadelphia, newark, new jersey, atlantic city and many others along the eastern seaboard . take a look at the temperatures across the country, we're talking 103 degrees in tulsa, oklahoma. 105 degrees in raleigh, north carolina . you factor in the humidity, you get that heat index , what it actually feels like on our bodies, it felt like 109 degrees in st. louis. that is dangerous territory. the question is, when will we see relief? fortunate live the answer is soon here, new england to new york, we'll go back to seasonal temperatures tomorrow, eventually by monday, that will trickle down towards d.c. however, much of the country, places like the heartland through the deep south continuing to see these above-average temperatures, relentless heat that doesn't seem to show any signs of slowing down. staff and news service reports
updated 7/23/2011 8:18:04 PM ET 2011-07-24T00:18:04

A heat wave that spread from the Midwest to the Northeast tormented millions Saturday with blasts of 100-degree temperatures and dozens of deaths.

There was little hope that Saturday would bring much relief until the evening. The National Weather Service warned of excessive heat in several states, including parts of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It predicted "oppressive heat" with temperatures at least in the 90s.

A record-high temperature was set Saturday in New York City's Central Park when the temperature topped 100 degrees. John F. Kennedy airport hit 102, topping the July 23, 1972, record of 100. Newark, N.J. hit 102 degrees, hottest July 23 since it was 100 in 1955. On Friday, the Newark temperature hit a record-high for the day of 108.

Cooling centers were open in all five New York city boroughs, WNBC-TV reported.

"It's unbearable, you can't get away from it," Chris Aufrero, who was working construction in the blazing sun, told the NBC station. "No clouds, no shade, nothing. Just so hot."

Power was out for 22,000 customers in the New York metropolitan area Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures above 100 degrees did not stop thousands of Civil War re-enactors outside Washington, D.C., to mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run. Re-enactment events continue Sunday.

Joseph Robertson, battalion chief for the Prince William County fire and rescue service, said nearly 150 people were evaluated, mostly for heat-related illnesses. He said 11 people were taken to hospitals, but no patients were believed to be critical.

Video: Northeast bakes in tenacious heat (on this page)

In North Carolina, where temperatures topped 100 degrees Saturday, hospitals are seeing a rise in people seeking treatment for heat-related illnesses.

The American Red Cross is staffing a cooling station in Charlotte to provide drinks and snacks. About 200 people visited the station Friday, when it opened.

"A lot of these folks have no place to go," said Craig Jeske of the Red Cross. "We provide a cool environment, a place to get in and out of the hot weather."

Kansas City on Saturday saw its hottest day of the year, officially reaching 101 degrees, NBC station KSHB reported.

For the second day in a row, temperatures topped off at 101-degrees in the Philadelphia region, a record for July 23, topping 99 degrees in 1978 and 1991, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"The creator gave us the heat and I'm going to enjoy it," Walker Ferguson, 62, of Germantown, told the Inquirer while playing the blues on his electric guitar and throwing in a few melody lines with a harmonica outside the Reading Terminal Market. Besides, he added, "In the winter, we're going to be complaining about that."

"We have a weak cold front coming through Sunday through Monday, which will give us some relief, but not much," said NWS meteorologist Heather Sheffield in Washington, D.C.

Among other record temperatures for the day were Georgetown, Del., at 104 degrees, topping 101 in 1952 and Atlantic City, N.J., 105 degrees, breaking the 100-degree record set in 1991.

In Chicago, where the heat wave was busted Friday, rainfall measured at O'Hare International Airport beat all Windy City records for the wettest calendar day, at 6.86 inches, topping the last record of 6.65 inches in September 13, 2008, according to the National Weather Service.

Airlines at O'Hare reported delays due to the storm of up to one hour and have canceled over 100 flights, according to the city's aviation department.

Earlier in Baltimore, Dale Brown, who is homeless, said he was buying 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 .

Video: TV reporters’ hot food stunts put to the test

The heat wave wafted in from the Midwest — it began last weekend and did not break until Friday in Chicago — and is a suspected or confirmed cause in about three dozen deaths around the country.

On Friday, all-time record highs were set in Newark, N.J., at 108 degrees and Dulles, Va., at 105 degrees and tied in Bridgeport, Conn., at 103 degrees.

On Friday, the medical examiner's office in Chicago listed heat stress or heat stroke as the cause of death for seven people.

'Ethical obligation to offer care'
A teenage landscaper who died in Louisville, Ky., was named as Cody Johns, of Sellersburg, Ind., by The Courier-Journal newspaper.

It reported that Johns became disoriented after working outside, pulling weeds and picking up trash. He was then taken by his stepfather and a co-worker to the

Norton Immediate Care Center in northeast Jefferson Count.

Eddie Robinson, a Deputy Jefferson County Coroner who interviewed the stepfather, told the paper that the care center did not treat Johns.

According to The Courier-Journal, Robinson said he was told that a care center worker said there was nothing they could do and that Johns, who remained outside the building, needed to go to a hospital emergency room.

The Courier-Journal said the stepfather called 911 and emergency crews arrived within 8 minutes and took Johns to Norton Suburban Hospital. He was treated there for more than hour, but died at 7:20 p.m.

Bill Smock, an emergency room physician, told the Courier-Journal that he would be disturbed if no one at the immediate-care center brought Johns into the air conditioning or made a call to 911.

"There is an ethical obligation to offer care. Their floor would have been cooler than the hot sidewalk. They could have poured water over him. You go to a medical facility expecting medical assistance," he said.

However Norton Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Hester, denied claims that Johns was refused care at the center. "He left before we could fully respond," Hester told the paper.

Hester said his staff would not turn away someone in need of help, and said they had not been given enough information by Johns' family. "Unfortunately, in this situation, we never got the chance to treat," he told the paper.

Meanwhile, Jake Crouch, a climatologist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., said the heat wave was taking its place in the record books for duration, alongside deadly hot spells in 1988 and 1995 that lasted a week or more.

Story: Hyatt apologizes for turning heatlamps on strikers Story: Sizzling heat bad news for traveling pets

'Didn't think legs could sweat'
Richard Karty, who teaches urban ecology at the New School in New York City, said, "If one urban area is next to another urban area, like New York and Newark, it's just going to compound both the heat and the air pollution."

Dayana Byrnes, 21, of Waldorf, Md., learned something new about herself as she worked outdoors in Washington to promote a website with free bottled drinks.

"I didn't think legs could sweat," Byrnes said.

In Manchester, Conn., the fire department sent out a vehicle to distribute cold water to road crews.

Horse races were canceled at several tracks.

But hundreds of people who lined up outside the Izod Center in Newark to audition for NBC's "The Voice" were undeterred.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Photos: Heat wave across the US

loading photos...
  1. James Maxim of Lunenburg, Mass., soaks in the cooling water of the Saco River in Limington, Maine, on Friday, July 22. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Bikers cool off at the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally in Bloomsburg, Pa., on July 22. (Jimmy May / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Orient Billie cools off with a fan at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., on July 22. (Mike Lawrence / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Susan Fernandez, of Lawrence, Mass., enjoys the spray of a hydrant opened by the city's public works on July 22. (Elise Amendola / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A customer wipes sweat off his forehead after purchasing an air conditioner at a store in New York City on July 22. (Mary Altaffer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Children at a summer camp in Andover, Mass. throw snowballs and play on a pile of ice shavings delivered from an area hockey rink on July 22. (Elise Amendola / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A fire truck in Linden, Mich., provided this entertainment on Thursday, July 21. (Ryan Garza / The Flint Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Vanity Mendez, 11, left, Isaiah Rivera, 6, center, and Jonathan Medina, 11, cool off at an open fire hydrant in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan on Thursday. A heatwave that has enveloped much of the central part of the country for the past couple of weeks is moving east and temperatures are expected to top the 100-degree mark. (Mary Altaffer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. William Dyer, Jr., of Gortham, Maine stays cool seated on his beach chair waist-deep in Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, on Thursday. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Nathan Pakozdi, 9, tends to his family's hogs as they cool off beneath a pair of fans at the Warren County Fair in Lebanon, Ohio, on Thursday. Farmers and other animal keepers are toiling away to keep creatures cool during the hot weather sweeping much of the country. (Al Behrman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Virginia Carol Thompson, 70, panhandles at the intersection of West Reno and Klein in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Thursday. Thompson said when it gets too hot, she stays under the bridge where she sleeps at night. Temperatures in Oklahoma City have exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 days straight. (Brett Deering / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Paving supervisor John Recupero enjoys a piece of watermelon with his crew, as they wait for an additional asphalt truck with temperatures soaring near 100 degrees in Westborough, Mass., on Thursday. (Christine Peterson / Worcester Telegram and Gazette via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Civil War reenactors sleep in the shade on a blistering hot day at Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia on Thursday as they mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run, the first major battle of the Civil War. (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Swimmers look on as one of the 250 bags of ice is dumped into the Franklin Memorial Swimming Pool in Franklin, Ind., on Thursday. Temperatures are expected to climb into the high 90s with heat index well over 100. (Darron Cummings / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Jay Kennedy organizes fans donated by Comcast-Spectacor to be distributed to seniors at the Philadelphia Senior Center Thursday in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Rick Vermeulen cools off with a drink from his water cooler, taking a break from the 95 degree heat on Thursday in Bay City, Mich. Vermeulen and his crew from ATT were working on building a new manhole on Midland Street. (Michael Randolph / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Nasier Wright, 4, sits on a basketball near cups of lemonade on the courtyard at the Pennington Court apartments on Thursday in Newark, N.J. Residents of the 223-unit public housing complex gathered outdoors as temperatures neared the 100-degree mark. (Julio Cortez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Olivia Provis, 6, stands still to have sweat wiped off her forehead by her mother, Angela Provis, right, as they shield themselves from the afternoon sun while waiting for a bus on Thursday in St. Louis. (Jeff Roberson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. DTE Energy employees unload bags of ice at the Gerry Kulick Community Center in Ferndale, Mich. on Thursday where a cooling center was set up for those affected by power outages. (Carlos Osorio / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. A very hot and thirsty dog named Buck cools off drinking bottled water poured by his owner Sue Anderson of South Windsor, Conn., during a legion baseball game at the peak of the heat Wednesday afternoon, July 20. A lengthy, blistering heat wave is blanketing the eastern half of the United States. (Jim Michaud / Journal Inquirer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Nine-year old Adrienne Curtis douses herself with buckets of cold water on Wednesday afternoon in Peoria, Ill. (Ron Johnson / Peoria Journal Star via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Leena Allen cools off by standing in front of a misting fan during a visit to the Saint Louis Zoo on Wednesday in St. Louis. Much of the United States is trapped under a heat "dome" caused by a huge area of high pressure that's compressing hot, moist air beneath it, leading to miserable temperatures. (Jeff Roberson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. As temperatures hit triple digits, a zoo keeper at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., cools off a Double Yellow Headed Amazon parrot with water spray, Wednesday. (Nati Harnik / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Bathers beat the midday heat at the Devil's Pool in Wissahickon Valley Park on Wednesday in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Jayson Hamler, 7, plays in some water outside a school on Wednesday in Milwaukee. Workers and residents in the city are contending with highest temperatures of the summer season as a prolonged stretch of hot, humid weather takes hold on the upper midwest region of the United States. (Morry Gash / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Vincenzo Vitalb cools off before a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday in Chicago. The afternoon heat index exceeded 100 degrees in the area. (Nam Y. Huh / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Head athletic trainer Eric Claas, left, applies a cold towel to sophomore Cuong Nguyn during a morning football practice at Father Ryan High School on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. With the summer heating up, schools are trying to keep their student-athletes off the field during the hottest parts of the day by rescheduling practices and scrimmages for early in the morning or in the evening. (Mark Humphrey / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Christian Rhodes substitutes a water balloon for a baseball as he and his youth baseball team try to beat the heat during a practice at Brandenstein Park in Watertown, Wis. on Tuesday, July 19. (Adam Tobias / The Watertown Daily Times via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Jonathan Decker, right, from Hot Springs, Ark., and Charlie Woolsey, from Harrison, Ark., tear a roof off a tornado-damaged home as the sun dips low in the sky on Tuesday in Joplin, Mo. Despite a recent heat wave, crews continue to clean up and rebuild nearly two months after an EF-5 tornado destroyed much of Joplin. (Charlie Riedel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. John C. Anderson, of Silvis, Ill., takes a big drink of water next to a sculpture of the Blues Brothers after riding his bike from Silvis to downtown Rock Island, Ill. Tuesday. Anderson rode the approximately 10-miles to Rock Island to perform a couple of heat wave related songs for the downtown lunch-time crowd. (Todd Mizener / The Dispatch via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Luke McCrory, 5, from Coopersville, cools off in front of a giant fan at the Berlin Fair in Marne, Mich., on Tuesday. (Cory Morse / The Grand Rapids Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Leon Buys is doused in water while taking a break from midway set-up chores at the Dane County Fair in Madison, Wis. Tuesday. Workers and residents in the city are contending with highest temperatures of the summer season as a prolonged stretch of hot, humid weather takes hold on the upper midwest region of the United States. (John Hart / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Five-year-old Dam young Kim, of Korea, makes hand prints in the condensation on one of the windows of a State Capitol doorway while waiting to leave the building with her family, Tuesday, in St. Paul, Minn. The foreign visitors were able to see the Capitol when Gov. Mark Dayton ordered it opened to the public after being closed for 18 days during the state's shutdown. Dew points reached a state record 83 percent and the heat index hit 119 degrees in Minneapolis and St. Paul. (Tom Olmscheid / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. A man soaks his feet in a fountain while reading a magazine on the Rose Kennedy Greenway on a warm summer afternoon in Boston, Massachusetts Tuesday. (Brian Snyder / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. In Council Bluffs, Iowa, where the heat index made it feel like 126 degrees on Monday, July 18, locals are also dealing with potential flooding from the Missouri River. Here volunteers fill sand bags on Tuesday. (Nati Harnik / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Participants in Drums Across America, a competition featuring eight elite drum and bugle corps from around the country, take a water break Monday, July 18, near Wichita, Kan., during practice. Temperatures rose above 100 degrees across the state. (Mike Hutmacher / The Wichita Eagle via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Walter Gatewood, 87, sits on his front porch trying to beat the heat in Flint, Mich., Monday. A heat wave smothered the Midwest with temperatures over 100 degrees. (Paul Sancya / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. A child cools off in mist at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb. on Monday. (Nati Harnik / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. A sun worshipper floats down Sunset River at Knott's Soak City Water Park in Buena Park, Ca. as temperatures around the county soared Monday. (H. Lorren Au Jr. / Orange County Register via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Malee, a three-month old Asian elephant, cools off with a spray of water in her wading pool at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Monday. (Sue Ogrocki / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Lillie Walker, 90, accepts bottles of cold water from Bob Sidwell, the City of Jennings housing, streets and parks director, as he checks on the elderly during a heat wave Monday, in Jennings, Mo. (Jeff Roberson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Emergency personnel assist a woman after she was overcome by heat during the graveside service for Terre Haute Police Department Officer Brent Long in Terre Haute, Ind., Monday. (Darron Cummings / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Jazia Pratt, 8, fills a bucket with water from a fire hydrant in the afternoon summer heat Monday, in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 22: Romona Johnson (L) plays in a fountain at the Inner Harbor with her children Japrea Parker, 12, (C) and Janae Parker, 9, (R) on July 22, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. A large heatwave has been crossing the United States and is causing extreme summer temperatures. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) (Rob Carr / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Interactive: Heat wave

  1. Above: Interactive Heat wave
  2. Map Beach report 2011


Discussion comments