Triple-digit weather arrives in southern Michigan

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Southern Michigan residents found ways to cope with triple-digit temperatures Tuesday, while school officials in Detroit and Flint decided to cancel activities.

Ypsilanti's high reached 104 degrees Tuesday afternoon, while the temperature hit 102 at Ann Arbor and Grosse Ile, 101 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and 100 at Adrian, Detroit, Flint, Lambertville, Monroe and Troy.

"Heat like this is hard on the very young and very old," said Nikole Montalbano, spokeswoman for Saint Mary's of Michigan Hospital in Saginaw, where the temperature hit 96 Tuesday. "It makes everything worse."

Montalbano told that the hospital's emergency room has seen an increase in patients coming in for heat and dehydration.

Detroit resident Gail Beasley planned to stay indoors, even though her home does not have air conditioning.

"I'm in the basement. My basement is cool," she said. "I'm painting walls, but it's so cool."

CMS Energy Corp. said its Consumers Energy unit set a record for hourly power use of 9,086 megawatts from 3-4 p.m. Tuesday. The previous high was 8,930 megawatts on July 21, 2011.

Relief should follow soon, with a front arriving the next day bringing highs down to the 80s in the southern Lower Peninsula, the weather service said.

Some Detroit schools called off classes.

It's just the latest in a string of scorching summer days in the state. Lower Michigan had a stretch of 100-degree weather earlier in July.

"We haven't experienced the 100s like this since the 1930s," Mike Kalembkiewicz, a meteorological technician at the weather service's Grand Rapids office, told the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant.

Still, the heat didn't bother 70-year-old George Bracy who was restoring a brick porch at a home on Detroit's east side.

"It's not bad. Not too bad. It depends on what you're used to," Bracy said. "I worked in the steel mills and plants where it's real hot."

The hot, dry summer has hurt Michigan's field crops. U.S. Agriculture Department Undersecretary Michael Scuse toured farms in Onondaga and elsewhere Tuesday. He said the drought shows the importance of passing the farm bill now before Congress. The bill contains disaster relief programs that otherwise will expire Sept. 30.