Record rainfall in Houston as searing heat lingers out West

Parts of Houston suffered massive flooding on Wednesday.PlayKTRK
WATCH Extreme flash floods in Houston strand drivers

Severe storms on Wednesday that stretched from Colorado to New Jersey dumped a record rainfall on Houston, with some areas seeing up to 8 inches.

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On America's birthday, 77 damaging storms were reported, including two tornadoes -- one in Florida, one in Texas -- that each did damage.

Some flooding is possible today with severe storms across the Northeast, Ohio Valley, Gulf Coast and into parts of the Rockies. Elsewhere, soaring temperatures are popping up throughout the U.S. as 23 states from California to Maine are under fire alerts.

Excessive heat advisories are scattered over most of the U.S. today.ABC News
Excessive heat advisories are scattered over most of the U.S. today.

More than 60 wildfires are burning throughout the U.S., most of them in western states from California to Texas, where record heat and wind speeds may exacerbate the threat level.

Some areas may see gusts of 20 to 50 mph and a relative humidity of about 5 percent. Even in Los Angeles, temperatures may exceed 100 degrees on Friday.

Friday highs out west will be in the triple digits.ABC News
Friday highs out west will be in the triple digits.

In the eastern U.S., the oppressive heat will continue from Arkansas to Maine.

Nashville on Wednesday recorded its hottest day in six years -- 99 degrees, with a heat index above 100.

Heat indexes today are again expected to exceed 100 for much of the Midwest.

Much of the Midwest will see a head index today in excess of 100.ABC News
Much of the Midwest will see a head index today in excess of 100.

Temperatures are expected to take a slight dip soon, however, offering a break from the heat.

Temperatures across the U.S. will cool a bit over the next few days.ABC News
Temperatures across the U.S. will cool a bit over the next few days.

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