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Marylanders Try To Stay Cool & Safe In Record-Breaking Heat

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Maryland is being assaulted by record-high temperatures. Friday was the hottest day we’ve ever seen. At BWI-Marshall Airport, the thermometer reached 106 degrees. Baltimore City reached 108 degrees.

It’s the third straight day that temperatures were dangerously high, and that heat is taking its toll all over the city.

Weijia Jiang reports the heat is not just unpleasant but downright dangerous.

Triple digit temperatures have not only hijacked comfort. They threaten health. So far this summer six Marylanders have died from heat-related illnesses.

Those with underlying medical problems are most vulnerable, like Lillian Rouse who has lupus.

“My hands keep cramping, my feet keep cramping up, my legs threw me on the floor ’cause it’s so hot,” Rouse said.

A roofer nearly went unconscious on the job. Another man collapsed.

“We should all be careful about staying out of the heat when we don’t need to be there,” said Dr. Kit Lorentz, Emergency Medicine St. Joseph Medical Center.

With air conditioners working around the clock, BGE says the entire power system is extremely stressed–especially since we’ve had so many hot days in a row.

To save energy, the company activated what’s called the Peak Rewards Program.

“We’ll cycle their air conditioner compressors on and off for a period of time so we can get the demand down,” said Linda Foy, BGE.

“I didn’t have no idea that box was gonna act like that,” said Bobbie McKinney, BGE Peak Rewards member.

McKinney’s AC was cycled Friday.

She says she misunderstood how the plan works.

Now she’s pulling out because her 5-month-old niece and dog need cool air at all times.

“This poor baby,” McKinney said. “Everything I’ve given her came up hot. Hot!”

Many turn to local pools for solace. This week in Baltimore City hours were extended from 6 to 8 p.m.

“It’s 8 o clock, but it still feel like 100 degrees,” said Carde Cornish, of Baltimore.

Even at 11 p.m. it feels like 100 degrees. Looking forward, the Code Red Heat Alert is in effect all weekend. Extra cooling centers will be open.

Across the country, 22 people have died from heat-related illnesses this year.

Click here for more information about Baltimore City pool hours.

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