Heat pushes power records

June 10, 2008 10:24:27 AM PDT
The heat is putting a lot of pressure on PECO and other electric companies in our area.

PECO officials tell Action News that an all-time record for single-day usage in the month of June. Peak electricity demand on Monday hit 8,644 megawatts, which ranks as the 5th highest total on record. The entire day's electricity output was 170.7 million kilowatt-hours. PECO customers are urged to report service problems as soon as possible by calling 1-800-841-4141.

Officials say about 75,000 households lost power Monday in northern New Jersey. Officials are encouraging everyone to conserve their use of electrical power during the day.

The extreme heat has also placed a great deal of stress on other parts of the region's infrastructure. Chopper 6 flew over Route 422 in Oaks, Montgomery County Monday afternoon where the heat caused part of the highway to buckle. You can see pictures of the buckled highway by clicking here. It happened in in the westbound lanes just east of the exit for Oaks, Pa. PennDOT crews arrived on scene shortly before 6:00 p.m. Monday to make repairs. They had to block one lane of traffic. Both lanes of traffic were reopened shortly before 9 p.m.

There is another EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING and ADVISORY posted throughout the region until 8 p.m. Heat indexes are expected to reach 100 to 105 degrees.

A CODE RED OZONE ACTION DAY has been declared. That means air quality will be so poor between the hours of noon and 6pm that everyone will be at risk of experiencing difficulty breathing, signs of heat-related illnesses or, in the very least, sore throats and coughing. You increase the chances of problems if you exert yourself.

There is also a CODE ORANGE ACTION DAY for PARTICULATE MATTER. This means that those who have heart and lung diseases could become stressed and ill if they are exposed to the afternoon air. Everyone is advised to limit outdoor exposure today between noon and 6pm. We're also asked not to fill up the car during these hours and limit driving. In the evening, the air pollution issues tend to subside and the quality will improve.

A panel of experts from Jefferson University Hospital, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and the SPCA answered questions about safety concerns for people, children and animals during a live chat on 6abc.com Monday night. You can get their advice by clicking here.

Philadelphia's public and Catholic schools will be shutting down early again Tuesday because of the extreme heat, as will roughly 60 other schools throughout the region. You can see the entire list of early school closings by clicking here.

Many thought they'd find relief at the Jersey shore, but the only way to cool off was to hit the water. The best way to beat the heat on the beach was to take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. The water is cold, but those who went in said once you got use to it, it was very refreshing. Danielle Kline from Reading, Pennsylvania braved the waters to cool off. "Ten o'clock this morning, it was like ice cubes, but now it's refreshing." In Avalon, the wind was coming out of the west for much of the day. It brought with it those pesky, biting flies that annoy beachgoers.