The heat wave scorching the Tri-Cities is expected to last longer than originally anticipated, likely over the Water Follies weekend.
The National Weather Service has extended the excessive heat warning for the Tri-Cities and most of eastern Washington through Saturday evening. It could be extended again as Sunday seems to be about as hot.
The Tri-Cities stretch of triple-digit highs is expected to span at least eight days now.
On Wednesday, some Richland residents were left without air conditioning as power was knocked out in both the Horn Rapids area and part of central Richland.
Extreme heat can impact amenities, the city said.
No daily hot temperature record was broken during the current heat wave, but National Weather Service forecasts called for the high temperature record to be equaled on Thursday, July 28.
The temperature reached 100 in the Tri-Cities on Sunday, then rose to 104 on Monday, 106 on Tuesday and 108 on Wednesday July 27.
The July 27 record in the Tri-Cities was 115, according to the weather service.
The July 28 record is 109 and that was the forecast temperature for Thursday.
Friday and Saturday, 108 are expected and Sunday, the maximum should be 107.
The Weather Channel predicts even warmer temperatures than the Weather Service for the days ahead, with 112 degrees predicted for Friday and Saturday.
The extreme heat is expected to start dissipating on Monday, with the Weather Service predicting a high of 98 and The Weather Channel predicting a high of 100.
Normal highs for late July in the Tri-Cities are around 94, according to the weather service.
Limited cooling at night increases the risk of heat-related illness and death, which relieves bodies less of the heat.
A low of 74 is forecast for Saturday night, followed by two more nights with temperatures in the 70s.
No heat-related deaths have been reported so far this summer in Benton and Franklin counties, but last summer four people died of heat-related deaths. None had air-conditioned houses.
The Benton Clear Air Agency issued an air quality alert as ozone levels soared during the heat wave.
Ozone levels are expected to be “moderate” in the Tri-Cities area through Saturday, no worse than “good.”
Due to warm weather, the Free COVID-19 Immunization Clinic in Pasco is being moved inside the Hispanic Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce office at 1600 N. 20th Avenue, Suite D, in Pasco.
It will offer vaccines for children 6 months and older from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and at 10 a.m. at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Gift cards worth $50 are offered to people receiving their initial doses of the vaccine, but not their boosters.
Power outages in Richland
Households in two Richland neighborhoods lost power Wednesday amid the prolonged heat wave.
Some homes were without power for more than three hours in triple-digit temperatures.
Power went out for most of the afternoon in the Horn Rapids area, then 1,200 residents of central Richland lost power late that evening.
Both outages were caused by faulty cables, according to Richland city officials.
“Please take extra precautions to keep your home from heating up by closing shades and blinds and limiting the opening of the fridge and/or freezer,” city staff wrote in a 1:30 p.m. post on Facebook after the beginning of the Horn Rapids blackout.
One person posted online that ‘people are just blowing’ the traffic light that was off at Hwy 240 and Kingsgate Way.
By 4 p.m., more than half of patrons had regained power, and the city was reminding residents that the Richland Public Library was available for people to freshen up. Some residents have posted online that they plan to visit.
Soon after, line crews had restored power to homes in the Horn Rapids area and were working to get business customers back on line.
The city announced that power was fully restored at 4:42 p.m. No estimate of the number of affected customers was immediately available.
At 8:25 p.m., power was cut in the Swift Boulevard and Jadwin Avenue area.
“Sending good vibes to the line crews working on its restoration. You are all heroes,” Scott Butner of Richland posted on the city’s Facebook page during the outage.
The city announced that power was restored at 10 p.m., much to the relief of residents.
“You rock! Jeff Marzyck posted to the line team on Facebook.
He also said he was pleased that the work of the line team at Richland was not “outsourced to a third party who may have had other jurisdictions, priorities and/or clients ahead of us for a heat wave”.
“That’s why we should keep our utilities in-house,” he reminded the Richland City Council.