Americans in much of the country will be getting a slight break from the oppressive heat today, one day after temperatures rose to above 100 degrees from the central states to the mid-Atlantic. Yet for many, the cooler temperatures won't exactly be brisk, falling only into the 90s. Cooler air is sweeping southward in the eastern half of the country, bringing down some temps by 15 or more degrees from yesterday's highs. A look around the country:
- The heat is blamed for more than 30 deaths nationwide. A 4-month-old girl died and a 16-month-old girl was hospitalized yesterday in separate incidents in suburban Indianapolis when both were found trapped in cars during near-record 105-degree heat.
- In St. Louis, the 13-degree drop from yesterday's high still will leave residents baking in 93-degree weather.
- In New Jersey, a line of strong, fast-moving storms beat back the heat—and knocked out power to nearly 70,000 last night. By this morning, 23,000 were still without electricity.
- Temps in Philadelphia, Washington, and Indianapolis will fall to the low 90s or upper 80s today after crossing the 100 mark yesterday.
- Officials said the heat caused highways to buckle in Illinois and Wisconsin. In Maryland, investigators said heat likely caused rails to kink and led a Metro train to partially derail in Prince George's County on Friday afternoon.
- If people ventured outside to do anything, they did it early. But even then, the heat was stifling. "It was baking on the 18th green," said one golfer in Northern Virginia who teed off at 6am.
- In South Bend, Ind., serious kayakers took to the East Race Waterway, a 1,900-foot long manmade whitewater course near downtown. "A lot of times I'll roll over just to cool off," said one man.