There’s severe weather on both coasts this first weekend of summer. In the west – the extreme heat is still on — and it’s fueling an outbreak of wildfires in several states. In the east, what’s left of Tropical Storm Cindy has left a big mess to clean up.
Torrential rain drenched the Northeast with up to three inches falling in parts of New Jersey, a powerful punch from what’s left of Tropical Storm Cindy, two days after it made landfall along the Gulf Coast.
The massive storm left a trail of destruction and even spawned a tornado in Pennsylvania, which snapped trees around Jim Linley’s home.
“I tried to step out the door — everything was spinning,” Linley said. “I saw pieces and parts of trees, it was so black, you couldn’t even see through it.”
They’re cleaning up in Fairfield, Alabama after an EF-2 tornado ripped through town, leaving one person injured in a liquor store that was nearly flattened.
In other parts of Alabama, flash floods swamped cars and stranded drivers.
Farther west, extreme heat is fueling a 37,000 acre fire in Utah. Flames have been burning out of control for days, destroying 13 homes.
“A fire of this magnitude just does what it wants,” said Jesse Bender of Bureau of Land Management.
More than a dozen wildfires are burning in Arizona, where the governor has declared a state of emergency. Many of the fires are burning in record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures.
It reached 119 degrees in Phoenix this week, so hot that the air was too thin for some planes to take off.
The oppressive heat is expected to continue throughout the west this weekend, with triple-digit temperatures in Portland, Oregon. Farther north in Seattle, they could break a record this weekend, with temperatures expected to be in the 90s there on Sunday.
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