NEW YORK – Americans from Texas to Maine sweated out a steamy Saturday as a heat wave canceled events from festivals to horse races, chased baseball fans out of their seats and pushed New York City to order steps to avoid straining the electrical system.
The National Weather Service said “a dangerous heat wave” sent temperatures into the 90s, with high humidity that made it feel considerably hotter.
It was expected to stay warm at night, in the upper 70s to low 80s, with more heat on the way Sunday for the East Coast.
“It's brutal,” Jeffrey Glickman said as he paused during a run in Washington.
The 37-year-old got out early to try to escape the worst of the heat but still planned to cut his route short on an already 90-degree morning.
“You just have to power through it the best you can,” he said.
Many people in areas facing excessive heat this weekend have no air conditioning, and cities opened shelters for people to cool off.
While the Midwest will get some relief today as a cold front brings storms and lower temperatures, the East won't be so lucky until Monday, the weather service warned. The heat will be the worst from the Carolinas to Maine.
New York City authorities canceled a Times Square commemoration of the 1969 moon landing and an outdoor festival featuring soccer star Megan Rapinoe, musician John Legend and “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.
The city also directed owners of many office buildings to set thermostats no lower than 78 degrees through today to reduce strain on the electrical grid.
Storms knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people in parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, heightening the misery. Strong wind and rain were expected to persist Saturday night and into today in the Midwest and Central Plains.
In Philadelphia, several hundred people were evacuated from a retirement community because of a partial power outage, although it wasn't immediately clear whether the problem was heat related. Residents were taken to a nearby shelter, and police said some went to a hospital for evaluation.
In Chicago, heat nixed several outdoor events, including a 5k run in Grant Park and a morning workout at Millennium Park.
It hit 94 degrees by the first pitch at the San Diego Padres-Chicago Cubs game at Chicao's Wrigley Field, but some fans didn't want to stay away, largely watching from shaded concourses as the Cubs won 6-5.
“We're sticking to water and not having beer. It's helping a little bit,” said Jaclyn Jendrisak of St. Louis.
In New Jersey, operators of the Monmouth Park horse racing track canceled six races and pushed back others, including the $1 million Haskell Invitational, until early evening.
Animal rights activists protested outside the New Jersey Shore track, where temperatures hit the high 90s.