Heat wave blamed for 13 deaths in Texas

Eleven of the heat-related deaths in Texas occurred in Webb County, which includes Laredo.
A fisherman reels in his catch as the sun rises.
Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 28, 2023

Scorching heat is blamed for at least 13 deaths in Texas and another in Louisiana as triple-digit temperatures moved eastward into Mississippi and Tennessee.

Among the heat's casualties was a man who died late Sunday in Shreveport, Louisiana, the second heat-related death in the state in an unusually warm June. 

Eleven of the heat-related deaths in Texas occurred in Webb County, which includes Laredo. The dead ranged in age from 60 to 80 years old and many had underlying health conditions, according to Webb County Medical Examiner Dr. Corinne Stern, who said the level of heat in the county was unprecedented.

The area has a higher poverty rate than the state average and that compounds the suffering, Stern said.

"The vast majority do not have air conditioning in their homes. They either have the fans off, or they have fans on but not proper ventilation," Stern said. "There has been at least one or two that have air conditioning but don’t want to run it due to the bill."

The heat has prompted the U.S. Postal Service to allow earlier starting times for letter carriers, according to the National Association of Letter Carriers Lonestar Branch. This comes after the death of a letter carrier who died June 20 in near triple-digit heat. The cause of the carrier's death was still under investigation Wednesday.

A man drinking water

Heat wave puts millions of Americans under alert

The dangerously hot temperatures forecast fall between 103 degrees and 118 degrees.


The unusually high temperatures were brought on by a heat dome that has taxed the Texas power grid and brought record highs to parts of the state, according to meteorologists.

That dome is spreading eastward and by the weekend is expected to be centered over the mid-South, said meteorologist Bryan Jackson with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

Texas temperatures should then begin to drop from highs above 100 degrees to daily temperatures in the 90s, Jackson said.

Another dome of heat has already developed on the West Coast, and an excessive heat warning is in place in a wide swath in the central part of California, according to Jackson.

"By this weekend there is a risk for record high temperatures exceeding 100 degrees ... close to 110 degrees in the Central Valley of California," Jackson said. "Then some of the more typical mid-summer heat of getting above 115 degrees in the hottest areas of the desert Southwest."