Heat Wave: The Parched, Scorched South

The Parched, Scorched South

"Is it true what they say about Dixie?/Does the sun really shine all the time?" The lyrics of the old song have been given a cruel gloss by the pitiless two-week-old heat wave that has baked the life out of the Southeast. Ten days of sauna-like temperatures of 100 degrees or more have exacerbated four months of drought, perhaps the worst dry spell in the region's history. So far, 15 people have died of heat prostration. Peanuts, hay and cotton have shriveled; the agricultural loss in Georgia is already estimated at $140 million. In North Carolina, some 200,000 chickens have died...

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