THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) — A concert at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion left 16 people hospitalized due to heat-related illnesses as sweltering temperatures lingered over the weekend.
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The Atascocita Fire Department said the concertgoers were in The Woodlands to see Snoop Dogg when people became overheated.
The Montgomery County Hospital District told Eyewitness News that 35 people, which spanned different age groups, showed signs of heat-related illnesses.
Officials initially said of those overheated, 17 people were taken to the hospital in stable condition.
“On further investigation, MCHD EMS transported 16 people to the hospital,” a spokesperson for the hospital district said in an update.
It is unclear if any of the patients were minors.
Record high temperatures were recorded in Texas and other states. People were told to chug extra water while mowing lawns or exercising outdoors and to check on neighbors to ensure air-conditioning is available.
“These high temperatures can impact our friends, families, and neighbors who may live alone, especially if they limit their use of air conditioning,” Sarah Russell, commissioner for the St. Louis Emergency Management Agency, said in a statement. “We urge everyone to stop and visit loved ones to ensure they are healthy and well during this extreme heat.”
Sarah Barnes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the area is not cooling off enough at night.
“That’s really going to contribute to an increased risk of heat-related illnesses,” Barnes said Sunday. “That’s the main concern when it comes to people and the heat.”
The heat wave causing misery this weekend is just the latest to punish the U.S. this year.
Scientists have long warned that climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and by certain agricultural practices, will lead to more prolonged bouts of extreme weather, including hotter temperatures.
The entire globe has simmered to record heat both in June and July. And if that’s not enough, smoke from wildfires, floods, and droughts have caused problems globally.
The National Weather Service set an excessive heat warning Sunday for southeast Texas.
Houston was expected on Sunday to add to its ongoing streak of high temperatures at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Through Saturday, the high temperature in Houston has been at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 21 days. The high on Sunday is expected to be around 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
The stifling heat in Texas overwhelmed people taking part in orientation for new students at Prairie View A&M University, 48 miles northwest of Houston. University officials said they were reviewing operations after 38 students were hospitalized Friday night after suffering heat-related illnesses, including dehydration.
One student was taken by helicopter to a hospital in nearby College Station, while 37 were taken in ambulances to other facilities, Waller County EMS Chief Rhonda Getschman told KBTX.
“It’s very easy to overheat quickly in this Texas heat. We highly encourage everyone to stay indoors as much as possible,” Getschman said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports just 600 to 700 heat deaths annually in the United States, but experts say the mishmash of ways that more than 3,000 counties calculate heat deaths means we don’t really know how many people die in the U.S. each year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.