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Heatwaves swamp 100 million people across the US

Excessive heat across the country had the U.S. government issuing warnings for 100 million people to stay indoors on Tuesday. And the heat goes on though the rest of the week.

The heatwave that's been steadily moving across the country over the past week broke temperature records in cities from St. Louis to Tulsa, according to a report in The Guardian.

Conditions in St. Louis, Memphis, Minneapolis and Tulsa were expected to see temperatures as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday. As the weather moves west heat advisories are in effect from Michigan to Northern Florida as temperatures remain high elsewhere in the country.

Towns and cities across the country are planning to open cooling centers in public libraries, schools, and other municipal buildings to help citizens who are at risk beat the heat.

Even federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency are getting in on the act. Last October, the agency said it would use American Rescue Plan funding to help schools retrofit their heating and cooling systems to become cooling centers in communities around the country.

The centers in Pima County, Arizona; the San Francisco Bay Area; Multnomah County, Oregon; and Kittitas County, Wash. are designed to be models for the country.

“This assistance will help schools keep their students safer every day with healthier air,” said Administrator Michael S. Regan, in an announcement at the time. “In addition, as we see increasing impacts from climate change, this approach can be a model for how other communities can create safe gathering places during dangerous heat waves and smoke events.”

Cities like Chicago are very familiar with the risks that excessive heat can pose to their residents. Back in 1995 a heatwave killed 700 people in the city (many of them elderly). And as recently as last month, another three women died in a senior housing facility during an earlier heat wave, according to The Guardian.

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