The sweltering temperatures broke several records over the weekend and prompted local officials to declare heat emergencies. Cities baking under the prolonged heat also moved to provide relief measures, including cooling stations, splash pads and additional outreach to people experiencing homelessness.
“As we lengthen the heat emergency for a second time, it is evident that a changing climate is a public health risk for our City,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement. “I’m thankful for the many City employees who have helped us get through the first part of this emergency, and urge residents to continue to take care of one another.”
On Saturday, at least one person died from heat exposure in New York city, according to the medical examiner’s office, which notes the man had preexisting conditions. The city’s high temperature that day was 97 degrees.
More than 40 million people across the US are under heat alerts Monday morning, primarily in the Northeast, central US and Pacific Northwest. But after Tuesday, temperatures in the Northeast will begin to drop closer to normal levels.
In the Central US, parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi are under heat advisories. The heat indexes in the region could reach as high as 112 degrees through Tuesday.
Meanwhile, parts of the Pacific Northwest — which experienced a much cooler start to the year compared to eastern counterparts — are under several excessive heat watches Monday that have the potential to be upgraded to heat warnings as the day goes on. Those high temperatures are expected to stretch on through the week and may continue into next week as well.
Excessive heat brings weekend power outages
Scorching heat left tens of thousands without power over the weekend as high temperatures drove outages, conditions which were exacerbated in some regions by ongoing storms.
In Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, approximately 20,000 customers were struck by a power outage Sunday, power company Eversource said in a statement.
Eversource was working to restore power to a remaining approximately 7,500 customers Sunday afternoon, and advised residents to avoid using large appliances during peak hours and adjust their thermostats to a few degrees higher than normal to reduce energy usage.
New York City electricity provider Con Edison said its workers continued “restoring scattered outages caused by the scorching heat” Sunday afternoon as the company also prepared for another weather challenge — forecast thunderstorms Monday.
The company did not say how many of its customers were affected by the outages, but said in a statement Sunday that its employees have been “replacing and repairing cable and other equipment to get customers back in service.”
The company said it planned to bring in additional employees to help fix damaged overhead wires and equipment in anticipation of Monday’s storms.
Saturday afternoon storms in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, knocked out power for more than 10,000 customers, leaving impacted residents without electricity as near-record temperatures were forecast across the region.
CNN’s Samantha Beech, Haley Brink, Liam Reilly, Emily Chang and Benjamin Schiller contributed to this report.