published Sunday, July 24th, 2011

East Coast to get heat relief; other states cook

NEW YORK — The triple-digit scorcher that taxed the electrical grid and made life uncomfortable on the East Coast was expected to simmer down somewhat Sunday, but forecasters said states in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast will still be feeling the heat wave.

National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina said temperatures will begin to ease Sunday but will remain in the 90s.

“Monday is really when we see cooler air coming,” he said, with forecast temperatures sinking to the low to mid-80s.

Brutal heat and humidity continued throughout Saturday.

Temperatures reached 105 degrees in Atlantic City, N.J.; 104 in Trenton, N.J.; 103 in Norfolk, Va.; 102 in Baltimore, Newark, N.J., and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and New York’s Kennedy Airport; and 101 in Philadelphia. But humidity made it feel hotter most places across the region.

In New York’s Times Square, tourists crowded into patches of shade along a baking Broadway, where Tony Eckinger was selling spray bottles with fans attached for $30. He had bought them at a drugstore earlier in the day for $15.

“All the stores here are sold out,” Eckinger said. “Everybody’s trying to keep cool.”

Nearby, Gordon Miller waited in the sun as his family bought theater tickets at a discount booth.

“I told them I don’t care what we see,” said Miller, of Peebles, Scotland. “Getting inside and getting cool, that’s the idea.”

The bubble of hot air developed over the Midwest earlier this week and has caused more than a dozen deaths as it moved eastward. As of Saturday, the medical examiner’s office in Chicago listed heat stress or heat stroke as the causes of death for eight people.

In south-central Pennsylvania, authorities said a man in York died Friday of hyperthermia, or overheating, in an unventilated apartment where the temperature had reached 110 degrees. A 94-year-old man in Carroll Township died after his air conditioner stopped working because of a tripped circuit breaker.

In northwest Philadelphia, a 67-year-old man was found dead Saturday afternoon in his Germantown home that had closed windows and no air conditioning. A health department spokesman said the man died of a combination of the high temperature and cardiovascular disease.

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