Severe Heat Claims 9 Lives; Baltimore City Extends Heat Emergency For Another Week
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s another sizzling hot summer evening. For the tenth straight day, temperatures soared above 90 degrees and it’s only going to get hotter. All across Maryland, people are trying to stay cool whether it’s with water or finding some much needed shade.
Baltimore City officials extended a state of emergency for another week as the heat bares down on the city.
Meghan McCorkell has more.
The blazing hot sun is taking its toll, the rising mercury turning deadly.
“These temperatures are dangerous and it’s nothing to take lightly,” Bob Maloney, director of the Baltimore City Emergency Management, said.
Nine heat-related deaths are now reported in Maryland– five in Baltimore City, two in Montgomery County and one in Wicomico. And Friday, a new death was reported in Baltimore County.
“It’s somebody’s family member and that’s why we tell people to prepare and we tell people to check on each other,” Maloney said.
That’s just what the city is doing. Volunteers are going door-to-door in powerless neighborhoods. Another emergency command center is now set up at the Northern Community Action Center.
The African-American Festival is set to begin on Saturday, forecasted to be the hottest day of the week. Now, organizers are taking added precautions.
“I don’t think it’s ever been this hot for this event,” Shelonda Stokes, the producer of the event, said.
Special air conditioned tents have been brought in.
“We have misting tents throughout the festival and then the MTA is bringing in cooling buses,” Stokes said.
With more than a half a million people expected, extra EMS units will be on scene and roving the crowds to keep an eye out for anyone who might be overheating.
Workers setting up for the big event know just how hot it is.
“The blacktop draws the heat out, makes it even hotter,” Baybay Johnson said.
On a near triple-digit day, that’s the last thing you need.
Dozens of volunteers are expected back out in the city on Saturday to continue bringing ice and water to those without power.
Many fire departments across the region reported an upswing in heat-related illnesses in the past few days.
The state has activated its emergency heat plan. Doctors are encouraging everyone to find a place to stay cool.
During Code Red Heat Alert days, cooling centers are open in Baltimore City from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
For tips on how to stay cool or to find a cooling center in your area, click here.