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Severe Weather Alert: Wildfires, Tropical Storm, and Dangerous Heat Wave Hit US

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Millions of Americans are enduring dangerous conditions amid wildfires and a heat wave that's sweltering across 16 states from the Midwest to the Northeast. Meanwhile, Texas is facing recovery after Tropical Storm Alberto – the first named storm of the hurricane season – swept through the Lone Star State.

Alberto, now a tropical depression, first made landfall in Mexico, leading to the deaths of at least four people there. The storm dumped heavy rain and caused flash flooding along the Gulf Coast from Mexico to Louisiana. 

Storm surge brought floods to the village of Surfside Beach on a barrier island in Texas, leaving behind damaged roads and lots of debris, with streets in Galveston underwater. Corpus Christi endured a four-foot storm surge.

South Padre Island Fire Chief Jim Pigg said, "The water is up to the dunes right now, so it's definitely not safe to be out on the beaches currently."

It's the earliest sign of what government forecasters predict will be an above-average hurricane season.  

While parts of the Gulf Coast are saturated, more than 70 million people across the U.S. are under heat alerts on the first official day of summer as hot, dry conditions are helping to fuel wildfires in the West.

Approximately 17 large fires continue to burn from California to New Mexico. The South Lake and Salt Fires in New Mexico have destroyed more than 1,400 structures. Evacuation orders are in effect.

Resident Melanie Luttrell said, "I was afraid. I saw how fast that fire had hit my my area, I just couldn't, there was no way I was going to take a chance. So we we we left."

Meanwhile, the Midwest and Northeast remain in the grips of the heat wave with temperatures in the upper 90s and heat indices into the triple digits in some places.

In New York and elsewhere, people are flocking to beaches and lakes to try and beat the heat. Kids at a day camp in Pennsylvania are just using the shade and the pool to stay cool. "Just trying to keep them out of the sun and super hydrated," said Camp Director Vince Kalinsoki.

The health department in Philadelphia declared a health heat emergency until Saturday.

High temperatures are expected to continue at possible record levels in the Northeast and parts of the Ohio Valley. 

As for those fires in the West, there's some good news as gusty winds ease up, but no relief yet from the heat.


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About The Author

Wendy Griffith

Wendy Griffith is a Co-host for The 700 Club and an Anchor and Senior Reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to The 700 Club, Wendy co-anchors Christian World News, a weekly show that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of the global church. ( Wendy started her career at CBN on Capitol Hill, where she was the network’s Congressional Correspondent during the Impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. She then moved to the Virginia Beach headquarters in 2000 to concentrate on stories with a more