Nightly News   |  July 07, 2012

Much of US still baking in heat

Triple-digit temperatures continue to blanket many areas of the country. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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>> we can tell you the end is in sight to the heat wave but it can't come soon enough after another afternoon of scorching and record-setting temperatures in the mid atlantic coast. mi millions of people are living in areas under warnings today. at least 18 cities have reached record highs today. tonight forecasters warrant a cool down could come at a price as we look at the radar now, experts warn we may see severe and damaging storms in parts of the northeast. first, michelle franzen in central park .

>> reporter: temperatures reached 97 here today but the heat index made it feel more thain 100. the big apple just the latest caught up in this deadly heat wave . the heat wave gripping much of the midwest added more misery today.

>> i'd rather have it 20 below zero than 102 degrees. it drains you.

>> extreme heat extrended to the east coast and mid atlantic .

>> in washington, d.c., temperatures left parks empty. warnings now blamed for deaths nationwide.

>> it is important that everyone is at risk. heat-related deaths do not discriminate.

>> runners taking out early to beat the heat.

>> it is harder, trying to drink water and go slow.

>> reporter: more than 33 states have seen triple digit temperatures. when you factor in the heat in dem it is more difficult.

>> you can look the it in records. 3,000 plus records have been broken this week along.

>> 200,000 people still without power. in hard hit west virginia and the d.c. area, utility crews worked over time trying to restore power after more than a week of being in the dark following the storm. the midwest got a bit of a break today but farmers are still in desperate need of rain. lort acres that could cost you at the grocery store. estimated 75% of products that consumers use including corn. back in new york city , you would think the heat would be good for iced cream sales.

>> right now it is too hot.

>> reporter: and people are still out tonight despite all of this heat. experts are reminding people to stay hydrated and that goes for your pets too.