• FORECAST: Sweltering heat returns midweek

    Updated:

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    [WATCH: Interactive Radar]

    Weather headlines:

    • The heat starts to build back in again on Wednesday, and it will last through the weekend
    • Highs will jump back into the mid-90s by Thursday
    • Dry conditions expected through the middle of next week

    Watch the video below for your latest forecast outlook.

    WEATHER RESOURCES:

    Thousands without power after Monday storms

    Thousands of Duke Energy customers were left in the dark Tuesday morning after a line of severe storms pushed east through the Charlotte area Monday night.

    Download the WSOC-TV app to stay informed even when the power's out.

    The weather system prompted severe weather alerts for several counties.

    The storms toppled trees and downed utility poles across the region.

    [Duke Energy outage map]

    Strong storms across the foothills damaged homes and left thousands without power near Lenoir.

    On Tuesday, Mary Summerlin showed Channel 9 what’s left of her family’s home after a large tree fell on it.

    She, along with her sister and father, were inside the home when the storm hit.

    “My dad was walking out of the bathroom, and it just went boom. The house jumped, like legit jumped,” she said.

    Despite the damage, no one was hurt.

    “Got dark, really dark,” Summerlin’s father, Fred, said. “I looked out the bathroom window and saw a couple of trees twisting around. The next thing I knew was boom, the roof caved in.”

    Less than a quarter mile away there was more damage with several downed trees along Miller Hill Road.

    "It got really bad for about thirty minutes, and when I got out this morning and driving around, I was amazed,” Tommy Gurley, with Gott Trees, said.

    As some families cleaned up damage, others spent the morning outside after losing power.

    "Fortunately, it was during the night, but it would have been nice to have air conditioning and the fans going,” resident Kelly Corpening said.

    It could be this weekend before all the damage is cleaned up.  

     

    Conserving water in Union County

    Union County leaders are asking residents to temporarily refrain from watering their yards until there is consistent rain.

    Officials said they are not making the request due to a drought issue, but rather system demands nearing the county’s water treatment plant capacity.

    [Why leaving a water bottle in your car could be dangerous]

    Officials said the hot weather has customers using much more water than normal. 

    The county has an available capacity of approximately 25 million gallons per day of treated water for its customers. Over the past week, up to 22 million gallons daily was consumed, mainly because of an increase in yard irrigation.

    The county said the scorching temperatures and the lack of rain are stressing the water supply.

    As the temperatures rise, so do the number of car break-ins

    It's been an incredibly hot June, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are seeing many drivers leaving their windows cracked, or leaving their vehicles running to cool them down.

    That makes their vehicles easy targets for burglars.

    [Hot dog: 5 ways to keep pets safe in hot weather; what to do during heatstroke]

    “Some of the things that we do to lead to victimization is create a level of comfort for ourselves, not really realizing that level of comfort for ourselves can actually make us a victim,” police said.

    Officers told Channel 9 there's already been a 10 percent increase in car break-ins this month. For the year, there have been 4,700 car break-ins.

    Heatwave stranding cars all over Charlotte's busiest roads

    Channel 9 spotted four vehicles Wednesday morning sitting on the Brookshire a couple hundred feet apart. 

    Multiple cars also burned out on I-77 and I-485 when temperatures soared.

    We talked to the owner of ACE Towing and Recovery, Michael Melandro, to learn how the heat can damage your car and put you in danger.

    "This is bad heat. This isn't anything to mess with," Melandro said.

    Melandro is trying to keep up with all of the cars that are breaking down.

    "The phones rang continuously all day, all day long," he said.

    On Tuesday, he got close to 50 calls for help. Normally, he'd get approximately 20.

    "It works fine when it's 70, but when it's in the 90s, the car is like a human body; put a body in high heat, it doesn't do very well," Melandro said.

    Melandro said when the heat drives cars off the road, you can usually find one or two avoidable problems: older batteries or low tire pressure. 

    "You really should maintain your car. If you take care of battery, take care of fluid levels, have people inspect the car, generally you won't have a failure," he said.

    Melandro recommended paying for a full-service checkup instead of a quick, five-minute tune-up to avoid problems.

    AAA officials told Channel 9 they had 655 calls for dead batteries in one day alone when the heat wave hit at the beginning of the week.

    They said that's why it's so important to get your vehicle checked regularly, because those numbers will keep climbing with the temperatures.

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