Nightly News   |  July 06, 2010

Mid-summer swelter sets records

From Baltimore to Boston, record-breaking temperatures and humidity levels sent residents seeking relief from the heat. NBC's Ron Allen reports.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Now we turn to the weather. Record heat today here in the northeast part of the country, where temperatures hit records for this day in 26 separate

cities, including: Philly a painful 102, Newark 103, Providence topped off at 100, here in New York a positively withering 103 degrees. That's where we find NBC 's Ron Allen . My friend Ron has the good fortune to be outdoors in it tonight. Ron , good evening.

RON ALLEN reporting: Good evening to you, Brian . Yes, this is one of the places to be, one of New York City 's swimming pools; and as you can see, it is absolutely packed to the gills. It's been that way all day. There's still a line of people waiting to get in here. It's getting late in the evening , the sun is going down, but it is still absolutely sweltering out here.

Mr. TONY PANN: Good afternoon. I'm Tony Pann. The heat is on . Temperatures soaring over 100 degrees, but...

ALLEN: From Baltimore to Boston , it's the kind of heat that's overwhelming, the sun scorching, the air hot and muggy.

Unidentified Man #1: Sticky, muggy and incredibly hot.

MIKE SEIDEL reporting: Today the humidity is up between 30 and 40 percent, and that has pushed the heat index , what it feels like, to 107 and higher.

ALLEN: Record heat in Philadelphia prompted the city to close playgrounds. Just imagine working outdoors.

Unidentified Man #2: When you're out in the sun, it's stifling.

Offscreen Voice #1: Yeah.

Man #2: It really is. It's just draining.

ALLEN: Throughout the East a heat wave of historic proportions, with weather advisories in some areas warning of potentially dangerous conditions. Even President Obama warned the press.

President BARACK OBAMA: Stay cool out there.

Offscreen Voice #2: Thank you, sir.

Pres. OBAMA: Hydrate.

ALLEN: Water was the order of the day at this soccer camp in New York City , where the kids hit the field but for a shortened practice.

Unidentified Man #3: We don't want the kids to get overheat with this type of weather.

ALLEN: New York 's power company braced for possible blackouts and predicts demand will surge to its highest levels ever, so far only scattered outages reported in the heat zone. In Washington , DC , this emergency medical team takes a proactive approach, trying to help people who have called 911 for help in the past. Mary Reed is 71. She uses just a fan to keep cool. They check her vital signs, leave water, and move on down their list of 300 people.

Ms. MYTONIA NEWMAN (DC Fire EMS): We have the flexibility of going from house to house and really meeting people what they are -- where they are and getting them what they need.

ALLEN: What everyone needs is relief, and that cannot come too soon. Well, they're getting some relief here, and we may just have to dive in before we call it a day . In the heat zone, a lot of cities are opening public buildings to try and provide places for people to come in and cool off a bit, and they're doing things like keeping swimming pools like this one open as late as

they possibly can. Brian: All right, Ron , just put the mike down before you do. Ron Allen in New York for us tonight. And