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Millions endure heat wave as temperatures swell across US

  • Forecasters expect a brutal heat wave to extend into August
  • Saturday’s high in Phoenix reached 118 degrees
  • Phoenix mayor calls the heat ‘unrelenting’

(NewsNation) — A relentless heat wave, stretching from California to Florida’s coast, has scorched the nation for more than 40 days — shattering records and causing multiple heat-related deaths in states like Texas and Arizona.

More than 80 million Americans remain under heat alerts nationwide, but it’s especially brutal out West where Americans are getting blasted with sweltering temps.

“The heat has been unrelenting in our community,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Galleo said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

She continued: “This summer has set some tough records.”

Saturday’s high in Phoenix reached 118 degrees Fahrenheit, shattering the record of 116 degrees set back in 2006. It marked the 23rd consecutive day in the city with high temperatures reaching 110 degrees or above.

Salt Lake City, Utah reached a new record high of 106 on Saturday as well — with excessive heat warnings or advisories in place through much of the state into Monday.

Eight states, from Montana to New Mexico, are reporting at least one active large wildfire amid the scorching temperatures.

And in Nevada, officials are investigating the deaths of two hikers who were found dead in a state park amid excessive heat warnings. So far in Arizona, at least 18 people have died of heat-related causes in metro Phoenix, and another 69 suspected heat deaths are under investigation, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“That heat is going to kind of radiate up off the ground. And if you’re on those surfaces for an extended period of time, you’re going to be much more prone to heat-related illness and you’re going to get dehydrated a lot faster,” Adam Balls, a senior medical director of emergency medicine and trauma in Utah, explained.

With forecasters expecting the brutal heat wave to extend into August, Phoenix’s mayor is looking at ways the city can help to cool folks down — now and in the future.

“We even have tactics where we can go out with IVs that have been cooled and that can cool people from the inside which can save lives,” Galleo told “Face the Nation.”

She said the city is also looking at possible long-term changes like switching up building materials to help cool different places.

The National Weather Service said temperatures in the West, South and Gulf Coast next week are expected to remain hot, but slide closer to average. Still, the heat and humidity will be out in full force. It’s why all experts say paying attention to your body and staying hydrated is critical to beat the heat.

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