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Inmates Given Fans, Juice as South Swelters

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United Press International

Southern heat offered anything but comfort to residents Thursday as North Carolina jailers passed out fans and juice to prisoners and the Missouri government bought air conditioners for the needy.

The National Weather Service said New Englanders enjoyed 70- and 80-degree temperatures, but their Southern counterparts suffered through a burst of hot air that sent the mercury to record-setting levels in three North Carolina cities.

The heat wave that has hung over the East in past weeks was a distant memory Thursday. Afternoon temperatures included 86 in Washington, 82 in New York City, 81 in Philadelphia and 77 in Pittsburgh.

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By contrast, Nashville registered 100 degrees, Memphis, Tenn., had 94 and Kansas City recorded 96. But Raleigh, N.C., was bearing the brunt of the heat in the Tar Heel state Thursday.

105 Degrees at Airport

The reading at North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport climbed to 105 degrees, tying the record set July 23, 1952. Even normally cool Grandfather Mountain, a 6,000-foot peak, registered temperatures in the 80s, officials said.

Also in North Carolina, Charlotte and Greensboro broke records with readings of 100 degrees or more. Along the coast, Cape Hatteras reached a record 93.

Prisoners in North Carolina’s Central Prison in Raleigh were treated to extra juices and floor fans in dormitories that are not air-conditioned, Warden Gary Dixon said.

“We try to keep them out of the dormitories as much as we can, add extra juices for them and plenty of floor fans,” Dixon said. “We try to make it as tolerable as we possibly can.”

In Missouri, the state is giving $50,000 to the Human Development Corp. of St. Louis for air conditioners needed by residents who are at risk because of the lingering heat wave, Gov. John Ashcroft announced Thursday.

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Many Illnesses Reported

The Missouri Health Department reported 70 cases of heat-related illnesses in the St. Louis area last week and more than 50 cases so far this week.

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