On the 20th straight day of 100 degree heat, a major water main broke Saturday for the second time in Fort Worth, leaving thousands of homes with only a trickle and closing restaurants.
It was the same main that broke just two days earlier in the middle of a heat wave blamed for at least 93 deaths in the state. The heat also is responsible for the loss of $1.5 billion in crops and more than 6,700 wildfires.Nationwide the heat has caused 141 deaths.
The temperature hit 103 in Fort Worth late Saturday afternoon, and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport hit 102.
There was no relief in sight. Highs of 103 to 106 were expected through Wednesday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Cain. And the worst is yet to come.
"The hottest time of the year starts July 30th through Aug. 8th," Cain said. "According to the 30-year average, we are just coming up on the hottest days of the year."
Water was turned off in downtown Fort Worth after Saturday's pipe rupture, city spokesman Pat Svacina said.
City officials ordered the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Convention Center closed, along with several high-rise buildings with restaurants.
Saturday's break happened about 150 feet from the original rupture because surrounding pipe had been weakened, Svacina said. He said additional breaks happen 20 percent of the time when water mains are replaced.