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Record Northwest heat wave that's melting power lines and buckling roads moves inland

Northwest Heat Wave
Posted at 5:40 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 11:01:10-04

A brutal heat wave that has scorched the Pacific Northwest in recent days has moved inland. But officials say the record temperatures may be responsible for several deaths and hospital visits in Seattle and Portland.

According to the Associated Press, officials in Oregon and Washington say a dozen deaths can be tied to the blistering temperatures that have been baking the Northwest since late last week.

Typically, temperatures in the region range in the 70s and 80s. However, from last Thursday and Friday and through the weekend, temperatures in the region regularly exceeded 100 degrees.

Watch below as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris address the heat in remarks from the White House.

On Tuesday, Spokane, Washington, reached 109 degrees, a record according to the AP. On Monday, NPR reported that Seattle recorded temperatures as high as 108, and in Pasco, Washington, temperatures got as high as 118.

Meanwhile, Portland set heat records in three consecutive days from Saturday to Monday, with temperatures topping out at 116.

Not only did the extreme heat put residents in danger, but it's had a significant impact on the region's infrastructure. On Sunday, Portland's streetcar system canceled service because the high temperatures were melting power cables.

The Associated Press says that more than 9,000 people in Spokane lost electricity on Monday. Nearly a quarter of a million people in the region experienced rolling blackouts Tuesday to relieve an over-taxed power grid.

In Everson, Washington, roads began to buckle as the heat softened and expanded asphalt.

As of Wednesday, National Weather Service has an excessive heat warning in place for much of the Inland Northwest, stretching as far south as Northern California and as far east as Eastern Montana.