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Searing heat across nation, reaching 100 degrees in some spots, takes its toll on events and roads

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As the temperatures start to heat up, make sure you are staying safe.
USA TODAY

A relentless heat wave gripped the country from the central states to the East Coast Saturday, prompting cancellation of the New York City Triathlon and producing cracked and buckled roads in some Plains states. Some East Coast cities braced for temperatures in the triple digits.

As the stifling heat — expected to affect 200 million people — settled in for at least a fifth day, the National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisory from parts of the  Texas Panhandle  to the Ohio Valley, around the Great Lakes, parts of the Mid-Atlantic and in the Northeast.

An Excessive Heat Warning is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 105 degrees or greater.

Daytime temperatures in the mid to upper 90s or higher plus high humidity will result in heat indices as high as 115 for some, forecasters said. 

Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Boston were bracing for weekend temperatures in the triple digits. New York City and Baltimore were under a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert that is expected to continue through Sunday. 

“It’s been since July of 2012 that Chicago and Philadelphia both hit 100 degrees, and Washington, D.C., hasn’t hit 100 since August of 2016,” says AccuWeather Meteorologist Danielle Knittle.

In addition, forecasters warned that overnight temperatures were not likely to fall far enough to bring relief, pariticularly in larger cities, like  Chicago, St. Louis and New York City.

Cities in Vermont and New Hampshire opened shelters where people could cool off.

The high heat took its toll across the country:

♦In New York City, officials canceled Sunday’s New York City Triathlon. Likewise, Mayor Bill De Blasio scrapped the two-day outdoor OZY Fest in Central Park featuring soccer star Megan Rapinoe, musician John Legend and “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.

De Blasio also  directed owners of office buildings over 100 feet tall to set thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit through Sunday to conserve energy.

•In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, traffic was back up along I-229 after a large section of road buckled under the heat. Traffic on the Interstate 229 southbound lanes was backed up Friday afternoon because a large portion of road buckled under the heat.

•In south-central Kansas, around Wichita, two roads also cracked this week as temperatures reached 100 degrees and higher.

“The buckling is essentially caused by concrete, which is more rigid than asphalt, expanding to the point it breaks open at a weak point during hot weather,” said Tim Potter, a Kansas Department of Transportation spokesman, The Wichita Eagle reported. “Sometimes, the pressure can cause concrete to explode into the air. The problem also can occur when asphalt is laid over concrete. The dark asphalt absorbs heat and can add to the pressure.”

•Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency after two fires broke out at electric substations in Madison, WISC reported. He said he issued the declaration to “provide support during the large power outage that is exacerbated by the extreme heat wave affecting the area.”

The Weather Channel offers a bit of good news after the weekend: A dip in the jet stream will spread from the upper Midwest on Sunday to the East Coast by Monday,ushering in cooler, drier air to much of the Plains, Midwest and East.

Contributing: Associated Press

The heat goes on:: Nights will provide little relief during brutal heat wave

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Destinee Lucas, 6, of Aliquippa, Pa., rides a wave at the pool at Settlers Cabin Park, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Robinson, Pa. Communities nationwide are bracing for a record-breaking heatwave that’s already roasting much of the U.S. to continue through the weekend. Alexandra Wimley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via APMya Jones, left, 12, and her cousin Alexis Carlen, 13, keep cool on a tubes floating around the Endless River at Raging Rivers Waterpark in Grafton, Ill., on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. An excessive heat warning has been issued for St. Louis through Saturday night. David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch via APJaxon Claymore, 8, left, and his older brother Jalen, 9, battle each other with large water guns in the hot mid-day sun in front of their apartment building on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, Bismarck, N.D. The pair say they compete against one another at home and in school to see who is the best in sports from running, throwing and strength. The weather forecast for the area calls for temperatures in the 80s with little chance of rain for the next several days. Mike McCleary, The Bismarck Tribune via AP

  • Children cool off in Crown Fountain in downtown as temperatures are forecast to head into the mid to high 90's with a heat index of around 115 degrees on July 19, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The heat wave gripping the city is affecting nearly two-thirds of the United states where more than 195 million people will experience temperatures above 90 degrees over the next few days. 1 of 37
  • Pitchfork Music Festival attendees of the first day of the music festival braved record-setting temperatures in Chicago, Friday, July 19, 2019.2 of 37
  • Cooling off at Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park, Chicago, Friday, July 19, 2019. 3 of 37
  • Children put their faces in a fountain at a water park during an excessive heat watch in Washington, DC. on July 19, 2019. An excessive heat watch has been issued for the weekend in Washington DC. Meanwhile, a dangerous heat wave will cause close to 200 million people in the US to experience temperatures at 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher this weekend, 19-21 July. 4 of 37
  • People try and stay cool in a fountain in Manhattan during the start of heat wave across the U.S. on July 19, 2019 in New York City. Much of the East Coast is experiencing abnormally high temperatures with highs expected over 100 degrees by the weekend.  5 of 37
  • People cool themselves by jumping into Lake Michigan at Chicago's North Ave Beach on Friday, July 19, 2019. A heat wave hits the Chicago greater area and temperatures are expected to reach high 90s. 6 of 37
  • Baltimore Orioles outfielder Keon Broxton douses himself with water while taking a break between fielding and batting practice prior to a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Baltimore. A heat wave is hitting Baltimore and heat advisories have been set ahead of a hot weekend. 7 of 37
  • People try and stay cool in the fountain in Washington Square Park during the start of heat wave across the U.S. on July 19, 2019 in New York City. Much of the East Coast is experiencing abnormally high temperatures with highs expected over 100 degrees by the weekend. 8 of 37
  • People rest in the shade at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on July 19, 2019.  Some 100 heat records are expected to fall this weekend, according to the National Weather Service, as a heat wave hits the midwest and eastern US. 9 of 37
  • People play in a waterfall at Yards Park in Washington, DC, July 19, 2019, as an extreme heat wave hits the region. Some 100 heat records are expected to fall this weekend, according to the National Weather Service, as a heat wave hits the midwest and eastern US. 10 of 37
  • Children cool down at the Petworth Spray Park in Washington, DC, on July 19, 2019. 11 of 37
  • A visitor uses an umbrella outside the National Museum of African American History and Culture, with the Washington Monument seen behind; during an excessive heat watch in Washington, DC. on  July 19, 2019. An excessive heat watch has been issued for the weekend in Washington DC. Meanwhile, a dangerous heat wave will cause close to 200 million people in the US to experience temperatures at 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher this weekend,July 19-21.12 of 37
  • Tourists cool off in a sprinkler on the National Mall, on July 19, 2019 in Washington, DC.  An excessive heat warning has been issued for the Washington area as temperatures approach triple digits possibly breaking existing heat records. 13 of 37
  • A construction worker stops to cool off in the water fountains at Canal Park, on July 19, 2019 in Washington, DC.14 of 37
  • A boy plays in a fountain to cool off as temperatures approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. 15 of 37
  • Destinee Lucas, 6, of Aliquippa, Pa., rides a wave at the pool at Settlers Cabin Park, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Robinson, Pa. Communities nationwide are bracing for a record-breaking heatwave that's already roasting much of the U.S. to continue through the weekend. 16 of 37
  • Abby Swank, 10, of Robinson, leaps off a diving board at the pool at Settlers Cabin Park, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Robinson, Pa. 17 of 37
  • Julissa Hernandez, left, and Kuna Malik Hamad stay cool while practicing their Brazilian dancing under a fountain on the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, DC on July 18, 2019. An 'Excessive Heat Watch' has been issued for the Washington, DC area through July 21st by the National Weather Service, with heat index values of up to 110 Fahrenheit. 18 of 37
  • Children cool off in the fountains at the Fred Cook Memorial Splash Park in Longfellow Park, Thursday July 18, 2019 in Murphysboro, Ill. An excessive heat warning for the region continues through Sunday with the heat index around 105 each day. 19 of 37
  • A Galapagos tortoise cools off in a shower of water from a zookeeper at the Oklahoma City Zoo, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Oklahoma City. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings from the Southern Plains to Nebraska and as far east to New York State and parts of the East Coast. =20 of 37
  • A roofer works on a new home under construction Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Houston. A heat wave is expected to send temperatures soaring close to 100 degrees through the weekend across much of the country. The National Weather Service estimates that more than 100 heat records will fall on Saturday. Most will not be the scorching daily highs, but for lack of cooling at night, something called nighttime lows. Those lows will be record highs. 21 of 37
  • Mya Jones, left, 12, and her cousin Alexis Carlen, 13, keep cool on a tubes floating around the Endless River at Raging Rivers Waterpark in Grafton, Ill., on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. An excessive heat warning has been issued for St. Louis through Saturday night.22 of 37
  • A truck drives east out of Alton, Ill., over the Clark Bridge as clouds from a severe warned thunderstorm roll in on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The storm knocked out power to thousands of customers in St. Louis County and St. Charles County. St. Louis is under excessive heat warning until Saturday night.23 of 37
  • Jaxon Claymore, 8, left, and his older brother Jalen, 9, battle each other with large water guns in the hot mid-day sun in front of their apartment building on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, Bismarck, N.D. The pair say they compete against one another at home and in school to see who is the best in sports from running, throwing and strength. The weather forecast for the area calls for temperatures in the 80s with little chance of rain for the next several days. 24 of 37
  • Devin Johnson (right) and James Watson (far left) sell water to tourists on July 17, 2019 near the Washington Monument. Washington DC's heat index values are predicted to reach 105 to 110 Fahrenheit due to temperatures in the mid 90s on July 17, 2019.  The nation's capital faces the hottest weather so far this summer as a heat wave is poised to spread across much of the central and eastern US over the next several days.25 of 37
  • Julian Bortey prepares to hand out water bottles for staff working in the heat for the Apollo 11's moon landing anniversary ceremony on July 17, 2019 near the Washington Monument. It's magic, Bortey said about the wet towel on his head.26 of 37
  • A woman cools off in the fountain at Washington Square Park during a hot afternoon day on July 17, 2019 in New York City. Sweltering heat is moving into the New York City area, with temperatures expected to rise close to 100 degrees by this weekend. The large heat wave will affect close to two thirds of the United States, with the East Coast and Midwest seeing the worst conditions.27 of 37
  • Tyler Secor 10, leaps off the high dive at the Kingston Community Pool to cool off as the temperatures rise Wednesday afternoon, July 17, 2019, in Kingston, Pa. Secor and other campers at the Kingston Recreation plan on spending much of the day keeping cool in the pool.28 of 37
  • A girl runs through the splash pad in Coal St. Park in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.29 of 37
  • Nevaeha, 8, plays in the fountain at Canal Park on July 17, 2019. Washington DC's heat index values are predicted to reach 105 to 110 Fahrenheit due to temperatures in the mid 90s on July 17, 2019.  The nation's capital faces the hottest weather so far this summer as a heat wave is poised to spread across much of the central and eastern US over the next several days. 30 of 37
  • Rose Scott-Wright plays with her dog Cloie on July 17, 2019 at Canal Park. 31 of 37
  • Cincinnati Reds first base coach Delino DeShields wipes his face in the dugout during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Chicago and much of the surrounding area will be under an excessive heat watch starting Thursday, as temperatures climb into the 90s, coming close to 100 degrees Friday and Saturday, with dangerously high heat indices, the National Weather Service declared Wednesday. 32 of 37
  • Amber Lewis escapes the heat with her kids Claire, 7, and Cameron, 9, at the Joannes Aquatic Center Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. 33 of 37
  • Reba, an Asian Elephant, is sprayed down with a hose by elephant trainer Monica Uhl at the Phoenix Zoo, July 16, 2019. The Phoenix Zoo hosted a press tour to showcase how the staff keeps their animals cool during the hot summer season. 34 of 37
  • Kiara Schmidt and Maddy Schreiber, right, beat the heat while enjoying a snow cone from Sno-Biz on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Kimberly, Wis.35 of 37
  • Poblocki Paving employee Daniel Huaracha takes a moment Monday July 15, 2019 to wipe the sweat away while paving a parking lot in Brown Deer, Wis. The job was just one of many where employees working outside are doing what they can to deal with the high heat and humidity we are experiencing this week. 36 of 37
  • Russ Wilson splashes water on his face from a fountain in New York, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The heat wave that has been roasting much of the U.S. in recent days is just getting warmed up, with temperatures expected to soar to dangerous levels through the weekend. 37 of 37

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