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Power outages, heat continue

Power outages and heat continue to plague the U.S. , affecting residents in St. Louis, New York City and California.


Power outages and heat continue to plague the U.S. , affecting residents in St. Louis, New York City and California.

Parts of New York City are coping with the sixth day of blackouts due to problems with underground power utilities. Utility officials say an unprecedented failure of multiple power lines is to blame for the long-term power outages in the Queens borough. More than 80,000 people are affected as high temperatures continue.

Meanwhile, parts of California are also now melting due to record high temperatures. Some areas saw temperatures as high as 115 and 118 degrees. The state's power grid is being taxed due to the weather, but officials are saying rolling blackouts should not be an issue. They are however urging residents to conserve energy.

While temperatures may have become slightly more manageable in the St. Louis area, many residents are still without power after two powerful thunderstorms last week.

Friday's storm was less severe, but still knocked down trees and caused problems.

A severe storm Wednesday downed power for more than half a million people. By Thursday, National Guard members were dispatched to evacuate residents who might be vulnerable to heat illness. Temperatures soared to about 100 degrees in the area earlier this week.

But the thermometer was expected to reach only the upper 80s Friday, with the milder weather continuing into next week.

St. Louis residents evacuated to air-conditioned churches and public buildings. Volunteers were being recruited to travel door-to-door, checking on people with no power. The power outage could last up to five days, and power crews were concentrating on restoring power to hospitals, nursing homes and water-treatment plants first.

Stores were selling out of ice and generators.

Residents were reporting it was the worst storm in years to hit their city.

"We can't overemphasize the danger of this heat," said Mayor Francis Slay in a public statement.

The oldest houses in the city are made of red brick, which holds and concentrates the heat.

On Thursday, Gov. Matt Blunt declared a state of emergency as 100-degree temperatures continued in the area.

Twenty-two deaths nationwide have been blamed on the heat.

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