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Pittsburgh area gets a short break from high temperatures |

Pittsburgh area gets a short break from high temperatures

| Monday, July 9, 2012 12:07 a.m
Philip G. Pavely
Greenfield resident Bob Wagner escapes the heat as he plays with Chase and Blackey in Nine Mile Run in Squirrel Hill Sunday, July 8, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)

The worst of the heat wave might have ended on Sunday, but its effects still lingered among crowded cooling centers and busy medics, officials said.

Pittsburgh-area temperatures reached in the mid- to upper 80s Sunday — slightly higher than average for this time of year — thanks to a cool front that rumbled through Saturday night and Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Moon. That broke a 10-day heat wave that peaked Saturday just short of 100 degrees, although humidity had made the temperatures more miserable.

Despite the cooler temperatures, many people still were being treated for heat-related symptoms Sunday, said Pittsburgh EMS District Chief Tony Darkowski.

“For some reason, we’re getting more (calls) coming over as heat-related than we did (Saturday), when it was hotter,” he said.

Although only three emergency calls for medics were explicitly listed as heat-related as of Sunday afternoon, far more came in throughout the day for symptoms such as weakness or vomiting that could be linked to dehydration or overexposure to heat, Darkowski said. One included a firefighter battling a kitchen fire in Mt. Washington, he said.

Spokesmen for Duquesne Light and West Penn Power said they had no widespread power outages or brownouts, although power flickered in areas of the North Shore and was out briefly at part of South Hills Village mall in Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park. The few outages reported were likely because of storms that popped up early in the day, said West Penn spokesman Chuck Jackson.

Pittsburgh’s Citiparks Senior Centers in Greenfield, Homewood and Sheraden stayed open until 7 p.m. to act as cooling centers for residents without air conditioning. Workers in Greenfield and Homewood said both centers were nearly as busy on Sunday, with 25 to 30 visitors at a time, as they were on Friday and Saturday.

The cool front that dragged a line of heavy storms across the area Saturday evening also took temperatures from the upper 90s down to a high of 86 degrees Sunday, said meteorologist Rihaan Gangat. The rest of the week should be closer to normal for this time of year, with temperatures in the 80s, he said.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or

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