The heat wave steaming the East Coast slacked off from a full boil to a simmer Sunday, but the death toll rose to 45, with 24 more heat-related fatalities reported in Philadelphia.
After days of triple-digit heat in some areas, temperatures fell into the relatively cooler mid-90s, and people throughout the region gratefully accepted the small amount of relief. More hot, humid weather was forecast for today and Tuesday, however.
In Philadelphia on Sunday, 24 people were declared dead of heat-related causes, raising the city's death toll to 41, said Dr. Robert K. Ross, the city's health commissioner. The city counts as heat-related deaths any death in which heat was a contributing factor.
Many of the dead were senior citizens who lived in apartments without air conditioning, and many had other conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, Ross said.
The last of 250 patients at an East Orange, N.J., nursing home were transferred over the weekend to Newark after their air conditioning failed.
Air conditioners and fans were in demand all over the region.