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Power outages, one death reported in Northeast heat wave

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Conservation calls being heeded in New York, Con Ed says
  • As many as 9,000 are without power in Connecticut, utility says
  • Heat kink" forces delays on Metrorail's Red Line in Washington
  • Elderly Philadelphia woman's death was heat-related, medical examiner says

(CNN) -- Power outages in Connecticut, rail service disruptions in Washington and warnings to conserve electricity in New York City mark the second day of the Northeast heat wave.

As many as 9,000 customers of Connecticut Light and Power in Stamford were without electrical service Tuesday, according to the power company's website. A heat-related transformer failure at a substation in Stamford caused the outage, according to a spokeswoman for the utility company.

Temperatures reached 100 Tuesday in Stamford, according to the National Weather Service.

In Washington, at least one rail line was delayed when Metrorail officials found a "heat kink" on the Red Line. A kink occurs in extremely hot weather when overheated tracks expand but can't be constrained by cross ties or ballast, and when a kink is found, train speed is reduced to ensure passenger safety, Metro said. Track inspectors will continue to monitor all conditions should other tracks become affected.

New York residents -- advised by Con Ed Power to conserve electricity during the heat wave -- did just that, company spokeswoman Joy Faber said.

"No usage records were broken in the city or the state," she said Tuesday.

Earlier in the day at a media briefing with reporters, a Con Ed official had feared that Tuesday's usage rate would surpass the record of 13,141 megawatts set in August of 2006. Faber said later that usage peaked Tuesday -- as New York temperatures hit 103 degrees in some places, according to the National Weather Service -- at 12, 963 megawatts.

Even without a record-setting day, residents were still being encouraged to cut back on electricity consumption, officials said.

"Postpone using large appliances, turn out lights, use fans instead of air conditioners, or if you have to use an air conditioner, set it at 78 (degrees)," said Con Ed spokesman John Miksad.

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"This is a team effort," he said. "We will get through this."

As many as 400 cooling stations have opened in New York's five boroughs, according to the Office of Emergency Management. OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno urged people to utilize the center, and advised neighbors to check on neighbors to make sure they are well.

"This is a significant health emergency as well as a heat emergency," Bruno said.

The heat wave has claimed one life. A 92-year-old woman was found dead in her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to the medical examiner's office. The woman, who was found by a neighbor, had opened a few windows in her home but did not have air conditioning, said a medical examiner's spokesman.

Heat advisories remain in effect through Wednesday evening for much of the Northeast, according to the National Weather Service, which also issued an additional "excessive heat warning" to be in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday for Philadelphia; Trenton, New Jersey; and parts of Delaware.

Weather service officials are advising people to stay indoors as the prolonged heat and humidity creates a "dangerous situation."

"Be sure to check on your elderly relatives and neighbors. Coaches, trainers, camp counselors should remain alert for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke," the weather service warned.