MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – A blistering heat wave will sweep the U.S. Midwest and East on Saturday and Sunday, when temperatures and humidity levels are expected to reach well above normal.
Tens of millions of Americans will be under heat warnings, watches and advisories as temperatures reach above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) in major cities such as Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, the National Weather Service said.
“The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely,” the service said in a warning for Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Could it ever happen again?
With heat indexes reaching triple digits his weekend, many Chicago residents might be reminded of the killer heat wave 23 years ago that killed more than 700 people.
A lot has changed since 1995. Chicago has better systems in place to monitor those people who are most at risk in excessive heat.
However, back then, city officials seemed to take the dangerous temps for granted.
At the time, Mayor Daley, didn’t seem too concerned, stating the obvious: “It’s hot. It’s hot out there. We all walk out there. It’s very, very, very hot.”
There were no warnings or much intervention on the part of the city then.
And things began to fall apart.
When it was over, a total of 739 people lost their lives.
The heat wave began July 12. The temperature rose to 106 degrees at Midway International Airport on July 13, and never dropped below the 80s at night. It lasted for about four days.
To keep cool, residents opened fire hydrants. That caused water pressure to drop throughout the city, and 23 cooling centers had to close.
In the days that followed, the number of dead overwhelmed the county morgue. Refrigerator trucks were called in because there was no room inside. Medical examiners averaged 13 autopsies an hour.
DENVER (CBS4)– Xcel Energy says that they anticipate Thursday to be the highest-usage day of 2018. Denver broke the heat record which was previously at 99 degrees by reaching 100 degrees at 11:31 a.m. Thursday.
Denver would go on to tie the all-time heat record in the city, 105 degrees, at 2:20 p.m. That ties the all-time heat record set on June 26, 2012.