The Heat Is Online

Stifling Heat Settles Over Midwestern US

Triple-digit heat wave blankets U.S.

 

Several deaths blamed on weather; Elvis Week includes free ice

 

The Associated Press, Aug 14, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Cities across the South simmered with triple-digit temperatures, toppling records Monday in a heat wave blamed for deaths in at least five states.

 

Thermometers hit over 100 degrees in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and the western tip of Tennessee, where Memphis hit a record 105 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

 

Monday was the fourth consecutive day of triple-digit highs in Memphis, where the heat was blamed for at least three deaths since Wednesday, health authorities said.

 

The brutal temperatures come during one of the citys biggest events: Elvis Week, when thousands of fans from across the world turn out to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.

 

Hot in Memphis through Thursday

 

Temperatures in Memphis will likely set records through Thursday, with humidity climbing as the week goes on, so organizers set up free water and ice stations for fans. Theres not a lot we can do. Its just going to be hot, Graceland spokeswoman Regina Jackson said.

 

A truck driver who was working on his rig at a gas station when he collapsed and died Monday was among the three heat-related deaths in Arkansas, Pulaski County Coroner Mark Malcolm said.

 

Its a dangerous time, Malcolm said. I think sometimes people dont realize that and dont understand the consequences of spending time in this kind of heat.

 

South Carolina and Missouri have each reported one heat-related death, while across the state line in Illinois, officials blamed three deaths on the heat since Thursday. Officials in Kentucky say the heat may have been to blame for the death Monday of a 37-year-old man, but the cause of death had not yet been determined.

 

Steve Nonn, the coroner in Madison County, Ill., said the deaths illustrate the importance of checking on the welfare of neighbors, especially the vulnerable elderly.

 

This is a time of year when it is important to be a busybody, knock on a door and ask, Are you OK? Noon said. It is an act of nosiness that just may save someones life.

 

Eight days over 100

 

In Alabama, Montgomery broke a record Monday with an eighth straight day of 100-plus heat, hitting 103 degrees. A day earlier, the citys streets steamed at 106. The city had seven-day hot streaks in 1990, 1954 and 1881. Pinson, Ala., hit a record high of 105, according to the weather service.

 

The average high in August in central Alabama is 92.

 

Ninety-two. Hell, the way things have gone this week, 92 is fall weather, Frank Matthews of Millbrook told the Montgomery Advertiser.

 

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved