Heat Wave Sweeps The U.S.

A heat wave sweeps the U.S. The recent suffocating heat wave has led to at least four deaths and left farmers’ fields bone dry. It shows no signs of abating as temperatures continue to reach record highs and electricity demand threatens to cripple the power grid.

The National Weather Service issued yet more excessive heat warnings Thursday for most of the southern plains, where the temperature in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas reached as high as 43C. Southern parts of California and Arizona in the west and Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas in the east also fell under heat advisories, while municipalities and counties scrambled to open cooling centers and make house calls on vulnerable residents.

Dallas marked its 34th straight day of temperatures over 38C, while on Wednesday, Fort Smith, Ark., saw the temperature reach 46C breaking a record of 42C set back in 1896. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Florida residents are bracing for the possible arrival of tropical storm Emily, which is expected to pass within 160 kilometers of the state’s easternmost point on Saturday. The blistering heat is being blamed for the deaths of a 16-year-old Florida high school football player and a coach, who both died after collapsing on the field during practices this week.

A spokeswoman for Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. told the Star two municipal employees — a sanitation worker and a police officer — died Thursday from heat-related causes.

“When you’re a city police officer or a firefighter or a sanitation worker, there’s no such thing as ‘it’s too hot’ or ‘we’re not answering calls today,’ ” Wharton said in a statement. “We want the family and friends of these two workers to know that our prayers are with them.”

By: Kara Gilmour
Published: Aug 5, 2021
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