U.S. Hit by Deadly Heatwave
The United States was hit by an intense heatwave this week, with temperatures soaring above 37 degrees (100 Fahrenheit) and humidity driving the heat index up to 40-46 degrees (105-115 Fahrenheit). In some cases, the heat index has reached 51 (123 F).
The heat wave hit the midwest, then spread to the east coast as the weekend approached. The wave “continues across much of the central and eastern United States, with excessive heat and humidity expected to expand into the Ohio Valley and East Coast states for the remainder of the week," the National Weather Service reported.
Several people have been killed by the heat. Official reports put the number of dead due to the heat at 22.
The heat has caused deaths among livestock as well. Farmers have reported the highest rate of livestock mortality in the past 30 years.
Some cities, among them New York and Chicago, opened cooling centers to make sure all residents would have a safe place to escape the heat. In addition, cities have sent police to local pools to ensure order is kept as people flock to water attractions.
Electric companies have warned that there is a risk of blackout due to the heavy use of electricity as many keep air conditioners running.