Schools forced to close early as East Coast slammed with late-summer heatwave

Posted at 9:41 PM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-29 23:41:37-04

NEW YORK – Heat advisories were posted Wednesday along the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Maine. Some of the most dangerous temperatures — near triple digits — were in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

It felt well above 100 degrees on the tennis courts at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. The tournament announced a new heat policy allowing for 10-minute breaks between sets.

In Coram, New York, the heat turned deadly when an 11-year-old girl was pulled unconscious from a car parked in a driveway. By the time an ambulance got the girl to the hospital, she was pronounced dead.

The hot weather has become business as usual in Washington, D.C. A high of 94 degrees Wednesday meant the nation’s capital has had 37 days above 90 degrees this summer.

In Boston, where the high was a record 98 degrees, not only has this been the hottest August on record — it has a chance to be the hottest summer as well.

Up and down the East Coast, stepping outside this week has meant finding any way to cool off. Temperatures in the 90s combined with high humidity are pushing the heat index past 100 throughout the region.

The first day of school in Windham, Maine, on Wednesday quickly became a very short day, as many schools across the state let out early. Maine was one of seven states that cut school short due to the heat.

"There’s only so much cooling that can happen with fans and things so we really want to put student and staff’s safety first," said Julie Kukenberger, Scarborough Schools superintendent.

There’s a bit of a breaking coming on Friday, with temperatures in the high 70s. But then the mercury starts climbing back into the 90s again next week. 

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