RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A hot day in North Carolina started out even hotter than usual as strong winds knocked out power to tens of thousands of people in the northern part of the state.
Duke Energy and Progress Energy crews had restored power to all but 4,000 customers by late Saturday morning.
The strong winds came from severe thunderstorms that raked the mid-Atlantic. The rains dried out before they reached the state.
All of North Carolina east of the foothills is under an excessive heat warning on Saturday. The National Weather Service expects highs to be well over 100 degrees, and the humidity to make it feel like 110 or hotter in many areas.
Raleigh tied its hottest temperature ever recorded at 105 degrees Friday, and Charlotte matched it all-time mark at 104.
With temperatures expected to reach over 100 degrees this weekend, several organizations are warning people to stay cool by going to cooling centers and listening to tips on how to beat the heat.
In York County, the United Way is working with local service agencies to offer respite from the heat. People, who have no ready access to a cool environment, and particularly those at risk for a heat-related illness, are being advised to use the cooling centers during the heat wave.
For upstate South Carolina, Friday's cooling Center is located at the Salvation Army Corp Office off of S. Charlotte Avenue in Rock Hill.
Several people were in line Friday morning at Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte. They were seeking help in paying their power bills and keeping their electricity running.
Cooling stations have also been opened in several cities across the Charlotte region, giving people a chance to take shelter from the searing heat.
Record-breaking heat started building Friday morning and is expected to last through Monday. The highs each day will be around 100°-103°.
A minor break in the heat arrives Tuesday with highs only in the upper 90s, according to the First Warn Storm Team.
A Heat Advisory is in effect for Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan and Union counties until Friday at 8 p.m. An excessive heat warning for most of the region was issued by the National Weather Service for Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Construction crews among those trying to stay cool
Construction workers building the next leg of I-485 battled Charlotte’s scorching temperatures with little to no shade to help keep them cool Friday.
A crew working on a section of I-485 near I-85 in the University Area wore several layers of clothes in addition to helmets and gloves.
"We keep these on for safety,” said construction worker Lawrence Hickman.
There was no shade in the area at all, so Hickman and his crew with Lane Construction improvised.
During breaks, they stood next to a crane hoping it would cast a long enough shadow to provide some relief.
"You got to do what you got to do. You get to catch a breather now and then and keep going,” Hickman said.
The crane operator was the only one at the site working in air conditioning, and no, he doesn't like leaving it.
NC sees record-breaking, pavement-buckling heat
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The heat wave in North Carolina started by breaking several records across the state.
The temperature reached 105 degrees Friday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, breaking a record for the day and for June, and tying a reading on Aug. 21, 2007, as the highest temperature ever. Authorities say it got so hot the pavement buckled on Interstate 440 closing the southbound lanes near the Interstate 40 west exit.
Charlotte also tied its hottest day ever at 104 degrees. Friday's highs of 106 in Fayetteville and 102 at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro broke daily records. In all, at least a dozen official recording stations made it to at least 100 degrees.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in North Carolina was 110 degrees in Fayetteville in August 1983.
Columbia breaks all-time high at 108 degrees
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- It has never been this hot in Columbia in 125 years of record keeping.
The National Weather Service said the temperature at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport reached 108 degrees at 3:10 p.m. Friday, breaking the record of 107 last reached in August 2007.
Forecasters have been keeping records in Columbia since 1887.
Most of the state topped 100 degrees Friday except for the immediate coast. The Greenville-Spartanburg Airport reached 103 degrees, and Florence reached 104 degrees, setting records for the day.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in South Carolina was 111 degrees, recorded in Camden in June 1954.