Nightly News   |  July 16, 2013

As heat wave scorches, Maryland county preps for water restrictions

High temps have been scorching the East, taking hold in cities where asphalt and buildings hold on to the heat. Adding insult to injury, Maryland’s Prince George’s County, a water main break will interrupt service for days. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

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>>> now we turn to the weather conditions again making news tonight. specifically this now dangerous heat consuming a huge part of the country. somewhat unbelievably, parts of now 43 states out of 50 are expected to reach highs of 90 or more by this evening. nbc's stephanie gosk following it all from outside independence hall in philly tonight, stephanie , good evening.

>> good evening, brian. here's a fact a lot of people don't realize. there are more deaths in this country from heat every year than from floods, hurricanes, tornados. and lightning combined. this heat wave continues. it just gets more dangerous. searing, sweating summer.

>> how are you guys holding up in this heat?

>> it's really warm.

>> you look like you're really warm?

>> i'm melting, actually.

>> reporter: heat advisories and warnings were issued in a dozen states, creating dangerous conditions for days to come. in philadelphia, the largest senior center is extending its hours.

>> our biggest concern is that a lot of our older adults are dealing with health issues. and they can be compromised as a result of the heat.

>> reporter: especially when there's no chance to cool down, not even at night. low temperatures in some cities aren't dipping below 80. putting a tax on people and infrastructure.

>> the cities hold on to the heat because of the asphalt, buildings and concrete. the temperatures don't drop off very much. we start out high early in the morning , and then the heat builds on top of that.

>> adding insult to injury, a water main break will interrupt service for days.

>> it's a big inconvenience. i'm trying to prepare me and my family for it.

>> an estimated 100,000 people are preparing for mandatory water restrictions , set to take effect tonight.

>> hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

>> reporter: in new york city , a scary moment at a political rally when a young intern collapsed from heat stroke . it took emergency responders experiencing an influx of weather related calls more than a half hour to show up. in philadelphia, the dogged tourists endured, standing in line for the liberty bell . a family from birmingham, alabama said it felt just like home.

>> do you think northerners complain too easily?

>> yeah, you all complain about the heat and we complain about the cold.

>> reporter: tour guide shared a bit of interesting history with us. the 1787 constitutional convention was held here during brutal summer temperatures, they stuck it out in wool pants and no air conditioning .

>> a healthy reminder. stephanie , thanks.