Forest fires, power outages make nation-wide sweltering heat more troubling
As the country deals with its first persistent heat wave of the summer, storms over the weekend left millions without power and, therefore, air conditioning. It's also made things tougher for firefighters fighting fires throughout the American west.
At least 13 states were under some sort of heat warning or advisory on Monday as cities and states all across the country dealt with a sweltering heat wave.
Temperatures in the 90s and 100s were common this weekend and continue to affect wide swaths of the country this week. The heat is particularly problematic for people on the East Coast, many of whom were left without power by strong storms that moved through Friday and Saturday.
Some 2 million people were without power, according to the Associated Press, as of Monday morning. Some of them were expected to still be without power come Friday.
The current heat wave has "broken hundreds of daily records and quite a few all-time records," said Weather Service meteorologist Katie LaBelle said to USA Today. "The heat is actually a very significant threat, especially with all the power outages. Coming behind that storm, with all the damage it caused, reacting to the heat is a high priority."
New Jersey activated its National Guard, as did Washington, D.C.
More than a dozen deaths were linked to the storms that blew through the area and the heat that has followed.
The heat has also complicated efforts by firefighters to battle raging wildfires in Colorado. The high temperatures have propelled the fires and made conditions worse for the firefighters themselves.
Separately, a C-130 that was being used to fight fires in Colorado, including the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, crashed in South Dakota Monday, killing at least one and injuring others.
All of the U.S. Air Force C-130s that were being used to fight the fires have been grounded until further notice.
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