Jul 12, 2017

Record heat investigated in 95 Phoenix deaths after 118-, 120-degree highs

by
Mike Sunnucks
,
Phoenix Business Journal
Phoenix. Photo: 3009investments.net
Phoenix. Photo: 3009investments.net

Extreme heat could be the cause for close to 100 deaths in the Phoenix area, according to the latest data from the Maricopa County Health Department.

The County Health Department says it has confirmed 12 deaths so far this year in Maricopa County — which includes Phoenix and its suburbs.

The agency is also investigating another 83 fatalities to see if they are heat-related, according to its latest data.

That would bring the 2017 total to a potential 95 heat-related deaths.

The Phoenix region has seen record temperatures this summer. That included some days hitting or approaching 120 degrees.

That resulted in some canceled flights for smaller jets at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and strained homeless shelters' water supplies.

The extreme heat also puts strains on landscapers, construction workers and others who work outside.

There were nine confirmed and 69 potential heat-related deaths in 2016, according to the county health department.