Nation: Too Much Sun in the Sunbelt

Record-breaking heat wave grips the Southwest

Wichita Falls, 117°. Dallas, 113°. Little Rock, 105°. Oklahoma City, 105°.

Though the Southwestern U.S. is accustomed to sizzling summers, temperatures last week topped 100° day after day in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, breaking records up to 100 years old. Some 145 people, most of them elderly, died of heat complications; Texas alone had 78 deaths.

Tempers shortened and productivity fell. In Houston, where 92% of the buildings are air-conditioned, the demand for electricity reached record heights. In Dallas a woman walked up to a truck loaded with ice and, without a word to the driver, climbed in...

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