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Video: Heat wave worsens in the South

  1. Transcript of: Heat wave worsens in the South

    August is picking up where July left off across much of this country: extreme heat, temperatures far above normal even for midsummer. Listen to this, 15 states had temperatures of 100 degrees or more this afternoon, 15 states. And nowhere is getting hit harder than, Texas where relentless heat and drought have made it dangerous to be outside. NBC 's Janet Shamlian is with us tonight from Hockley , Texas . Hey, Janet , good evening.

    JANET SHAMLIAN reporting: Brian , good evening. The corn is burning up out here, and this heat wave is getting worse just as high schoolers are suiting up and spending more time outdoors right now for band and football practice. At a high school outside Dallas , the football field was empty on what should have been the second day of practice after a coach collapsed and died Monday. The team had just finished its second practice of the day in triple-digit heat when Wade McClain fell over as he was walking from the field.

    Pastor JACK GRAHAM (Prestonwood Christian Academy): He just became ill and lost consciousness, and the doctors are still trying to determine exactly what happened.

    SHAMLIAN: Near Atlanta , 16-year-old Forrest Jones is fighting for his life after fainting and hitting his head after a football practice last week. Doctors say it was heat stroke . With school just weeks away in many parts of the country, band members and other students are playing and practicing in searing heat.

    Dr. PAUL PEPE (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center): The majority of cases of people who get into trouble with heat illness really are sometimes the young and healthy because they think they can go out and tolerate it.

    SHAMLIAN: There have been heat deaths all over, at least 40 confirmed in the South and Midwest since the heatwave started, and excessive heat warnings for 12 states.

    Unidentified Woman: It is so hot that it's unbearable. You don't even want your kids to go outside.

    SHAMLIAN: On Monday it was 110 in Tulsa . And Dallas is on its 32nd day of 100 degrees or higher, the state's power grid pushed to the max; so steamy, people are seeking refuge in the cool underground tunnels that connect downtown buildings. Even those accustomed to the dog days of August say they can't remember it being this hot for this long. And yesterday at this hour an all-time electricity record was set here in Texas . And, Brian , as the heat wave rolls on, authorities are hoping this won't result in emergency outages. Brian :

    WILLIAMS: Yeah, everybody's hoping for relief there. Janet Shamlian in dry, hot Hockley , Texas , tonight. Janet , thanks.

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