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Tuesday
Jul192011

Heat Wave Continues to Scorch the Nation

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Excessive summer heat and humidity are taking their toll on millions of Americans.

Some 20 states issued heat advisories or warnings Monday, with health officials in Texas advising people to drink at least two bottles of water per hour to avoid heat stroke.

Dr. Michael Halbert, an emergency room physician in Madison, Wisconsin, says the heat has triggered an increase in ER cases and he expects even more as the hot weather continues this week.

And if you were thinking of jumping into a lake to cool off, think again.  The heat is causing many lakes to evaporate even faster, and as a result, blue-green algae and bacteria are exploding in the stagnant waters.

In Oklahoma, health officials have closed access to several contaminated lakes.  Tony Clyde of the Army corps of Engineers says spring floods carried a lot of ground fertilizer into the lakes and that has turned many lakes and reservoirs into “pea soup.”

Temperatures across Minnesota rose to 97 degrees Monday with a heat index that reached 112 degrees.  At a Minnesota Twins doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians in Minneapolis, a woman had to be treated for what appeared to be heat exhaustion.  Ironically, one of the games was a make-up for a game that had been canceled on April 22 on account of snow.

Elsewhere, the heat index was 126 in Newton, Iowa and 120 in Mitchell, South Dakota Monday.

Folks in Phoenix, Arizona are used to the heat, but they're getting tired of a recent rash of dust storms.

Another giant wall of dust, this one some 3,000 feet high, rolled through the Phoenix area Monday, causing poor visibility and some delays for flights at the city’s Sky Harbor International Airport, where visibility was less than a quarter mile.  The dust storm generated winds with gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

Earlier this month, a monster dust storm a mile high pounded Arizona, halting airline traffic and knocking out power to many residents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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