Following a weekend of devastating storms, hundreds of thousands of customers are without power in areas of the South and Southwest now facing scorching heat.
As of Tuesday, more than 38 million Americans are under active extreme heat advisories, watches, and warnings, according to the National Integrated Heat Health Information System, a platform created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The scorching temperatures are concentrated across large swaths of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Daily records could be broken throughout the week, with the peak heat occurring Tuesday and Wednesday.
Louisiana has about 53,000 customers who are without power as of Tuesday afternoon and Texas has more than 51,000 customers without power, according to poweroutage.us.
In Oklahoma, as temperatures soar in the aftermath of the weekend storms, over 130,000 customers remained without power statewide, according to poweroutage.us.
The National Weather Service in Tulsa warned Tuesday morning that temperatures could feel like over 100 degrees for much of the area.
“Heat impacts will be a concern today for those without power. Be safe out there!” the agency said in a tweet.
In Tulsa, one person died because they were unable to power their respirator, according to Mayor G.T. Bynum, who signed a disaster declaration for the city on Sunday.
The Office of the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner Tuesday confirmed two additional fatalities caused by the storms but was unable to provide additional details.
Texas heat could keep breaking records
Temperatures across Texas will be running 10 to 15 degrees above normal for at least the next seven days.
“The highest heat indices are forecast across South Texas, where it could feel as hot as 120 degrees,” the Weather Prediction Center said.
With air conditioners running on full blast, the organization that operates much of the state’s electric grid, ERCOT, is expected to issue a Voluntary Conservation Notice Tuesday.
“ERCOT is asking Texans today to voluntarily reduce electric usage if it is safe to do so. This is a Voluntary Conservation Notice that has been requested today from 4pm until 8pm this evening,” ERCOT President and CEO Pablo Vegas said at a ERCOT board meeting.
“I want to be clear, ERCOT is not experiencing any emergency conditions right now. Voluntary conservation is a very widely used industry tool that can help lower demand for specific periods of time, which is typically in the late afternoon and early evening during the summer.”
Several daily heat records were broken across Texas Monday, including Laredo, which hit 115 degrees, San Angelo, which reached 111 degrees, and Del Rio, at 109 degrees.