Power Outages Strike NYC as Heat Wave Continues

Residents across Northeast, Midwest seek cooling centers, air conditioning amid scorching heat.
9:06 | 07/18/13

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Transcript for Power Outages Strike NYC as Heat Wave Continues
This is a special report from ABC news. -- tech bananas and an ABC news digital special report on the heat wave. It's not over yet in fact it's only getting hotter on the East Coast and today. 21 states are under she did -- -- warnings including Chicago Philadelphia New York. Washington DC. -- Karen Travers joins us now from our bureau hello Karen. Good afternoon -- is hot and steamy down here in Washington this is the fourth consecutive day in a row where temperatures will be above ninety degrees and that is. I think waved down here it's not record breaking but it is certainly hot. And what's worse it's the humidity it really makes it feel like you're breathing in suit. He a passive heat pleaded not letting up. The temperatures that we're seeing with this air -- are not historic they're not record breaking boy but when you add in the humidity it is uncomfortable. Much of the nation is sweating with temperatures hovering in the ninety's in Chicago not -- -- Lake Michigan could provide a cool breeze. Eileen and walking for about ten minutes this -- Philadelphia's painted to look like a beach no emotion but. For really -- this advance. Street pulled down on we also have amazing tree grows on both ends of the parking lot of -- -- And don't try this at home a meteorologist here in Washington decided to find out how honey gets in a closed car after thirty minutes we. Approached. A 125 degrees in the car. -- completely miserable. As -- temperatures soared children and the elderly are especially vulnerable. To knees kissel runs -- relief program in Raleigh, North Carolina. It's really important for seniors to be extra aware. And do all the normal things that we talk about what we talk about -- safe and -- Wear light clothing and drink extra fluid and limit your outdoor time. Folks in the midwest and the northeast are in for another few days of steamy weather. But cooler weather is right around the corner this heat wave is going to be ending with a Big Bang. But by Monday everybody will be more comfortable. Most heat waves and with thunderstorms and tie this one will to the midwest we'll get them severe -- -- is strong on Friday. In here on the East Coast we'll get on Saturday. -- -- what's the latest on the water shortage problem in the DC area. Thank goodness that prices was a verdict yesterday -- officials warning people here in Maryland on outside DC. State that becomes a major water main that needed repair. They were gonna have to shut the water off and they might not be able to get back on -- three to five days this is potentially backed up to 300000. People in Prince George's County just south of Washington DC. But yesterday -- -- -- right we got up the water was -- turn off completely they said prices averted they were able to go win the problem. Wasn't as bad as they expected. And nobody was without water thank goodness because you had tens of thousands of people this week. Rushing out -- stores stocking up on water billing rules in their backyard. Not just to cool off but actually use buckets to use for their toilets later thank goodness that prices would solve that everybody here is now. This really hot but at least they have water high. Probably too much of -- at this point parent -- me thank you. Well as the heat source here in New York City where the index is making it feel like a 103 today. They're growing power outage concerns were joined live now but W these reports. -- -- Live in one neighborhood -- New York City the Bronx and -- what's going on there. We'll -- you can see behind me con Edison. Our utility here in New York City is now working on some power cables that are underground as you know about New York situation here is somewhat unique. In that a lot of the power reaches buildings apartments homes businesses. -- underground cables. That's a particular problem in the summer months. Because it gets really hot down there and has the power is -- -- through and pulled through that the cables. They heat up. And a lot of times they catch fire that's precisely what happened here in this section of -- the concourse section of the Bronx only a few blocks from Yankee Stadium. We have about 500 homes and businesses -- been without power here but keep it in perspective. There are roughly 700 homes and businesses throughout New York City and Westchester County that's millions and millions of people. But only 700 homes and businesses without power throughout the entire city and that's including the 500 here in the Bronx so the bottom line is. The power grid here in New York is holding up exceptionally well time. It's holding up well but the more we go home and turn on the AC rather than spend any time outside the more we're putting at risk right. Yet without question I mean this is the reason that our problems have increased in recent years because. People using computers that use computers you know on this. Mass scale 20/20 five years ago. They're running air conditioners all day all night. And it's creating a tremendous drain on the system but again Con -- for years has tried to modernize and upgrade its system. So they're they're putting in stronger cables cables that are capable of pulling more electricity through them. So yes you're getting pockets of power outages yes here in there in situations like this but not as many as -- used again. You know obviously -- small consolation to people -- these buildings around here who lost power they've been without power here since about 4 o'clock this morning. Got tell us about those people how are they hoping aren't they just that'll be home until the situation -- -- Yeah it's no fun for them a lot of them are sitting out here. In the -- is -- sitting along the wall of the park it's right here. Because -- apartments recycling. One of the biggest problems in New York City when the power goes out. In a particular apartment building is you -- the elevators. And so we've got people -- elderly people. Women with children people -- -- We're now forced to walk up and down. Several flights there's this is the building behind me that's. Six stories tall and of course that's no fun they're hoping the power comes on here quickly. Quickly and New York City is a relative term. They're now telling us the power may be back on here in the next two hours. All right well let's hope so for the sake those folks living in that building trying to anyway. And. So what's in store an -- -- ally to act but -- salary stock salary. Much more this heat wave do we have to do more. Luckily I think only just a few more days I'm sure everyone is had it up to hear -- all of this heat and luckily we're not dealing with record breaking heat here but when you -- the increased. Daytime and nighttime temperatures -- and humidity the intense sunshine and not a lot of wind it just feels uncomfortable I've heard -- -- something like. A virtual Sauna bath and that's exactly what it feels like -- he's got a big ridge of high pressure which is what's causing this heat. That has shifted a little bit farther south and west but it is still bringing it. At least some cloud cover I think we've only seen some relief up toward -- -- -- -- but we have an incoming front that is what is going to bring the relief. But also that of some thunderstorms with it now since Monday. We're talking about temperatures may -- five to ten degrees above where they should be this time of year. Not record breaking by any means but it is still hot especially when you -- and that humidity more than -- hundred. Million people. Our feeling was he anywhere from Boston to Chicago so this is definitely a whites -- area our current real feel temperatures. A 109. In our nation's capital -- -- 107 over into Detroit that makes ninety went up in Portland actually feel a bit comfortable. And we're not done with this just yet even into Friday we're still dealing with temperatures at least what it will feel like up to a hundred -- -- parts of the interior northeast. Down to at least even a little bit warmer -- ahead on down into parts of the mid Atlantic the good news as there is going to be a little bit of some relief but it's going to take a bit of some time. Thunderstorms severe thunderstorms at that are going to be coming out ahead of this front for Friday it's going to be anywhere from Chicago. A toward Montreal hail damaging winds isolated tornadoes that threat. And then on Saturday he'll start to feel some of these thunderstorms anywhere from bank board of Pittsburgh. We're primarily looking at -- the torrential downpours with this. So I think most of the relief for at least parts of the midwest to start to feel that or at least the -- -- -- feel that as early as Friday may -- parts of Saturday. And and the rest of the northeast I think we're gonna have to wait till the end of the weekend but at least we'll get a couple of days. With. Heat and humidity that's not to -- We have our fingers crossed thanks Valerie. Animals at the zoo -- trying to stay cool these guys at the Detroit zoo are beating the heat with the help of giant ice pops. Chilled watermelon and of course there's aren't hanging out to -- why not the zoo is calling their seek treatment program. -- This has been an ABC news -- -- special report on time Hernandez. This has been a special report from the --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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