Philadelphia's fifth heat-related death since May

Cars were lining up as Camden County Office of Emergency Management workers distributed ice and water at Hamilton Mall near Mays Landing, N.J., helping out those needing assistance with the heat in a neighboring county.
Cars were lining up as Camden County Office of Emergency Management workers distributed ice and water at Hamilton Mall near Mays Landing, N.J., helping out those needing assistance with the heat in a neighboring county. (GREGG KOHL / For The Inquirer)
Posted: July 05, 2012

As the hot spell's persistence stokes health concerns, Philadelphia has reported the region's fifth heat-related death since late May.

A 70-year-old man with a history of heart disease was found dead Sunday in the second-floor bedroom of a Mount Airy home, said Health Department spokesman Jeff Moran. Fans were operating in the room and the windows were closed when the body was discovered.

The toll may rise, for the second heat wave of the season is about to gain a second, potentially dangerous, wind.

On the July Fourth holiday, the atmosphere will be holding a cookout of its own, with temperatures creeping back toward the mid-90s.

The air will swell with water vapor Wednesday, making a mockery of sweat. Discomfort levels will rise along with the chance of thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning, in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday until 6 p.m. Thursday. Temperatures on Saturday could make a run at 100.

But the potential duration of the heat is at least as much a concern, if not a bigger one, than the intensity.

It hit 94 at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday, the fifth consecutive day of 90 or better, with at least five more queued up.

Prolonged heat is particularly dangerous to the elderly, said Sharon Congleton, a nurse supervisor at the Philadelphia Corp. for the Aging, which will activate its heatline - 215-765-9040 - Wednesday and Thursday. "It's so important for our older adults to get out of that rowhome or that apartment," she said. "Go somewhere where you can cool down."

So far this year, Philadelphia has reported four heat-related deaths, and Montgomery County, one.


Contact Anthony R. Wood

at 610-313-8210 or twood@phillynews.com.

|
|
|
|
|