Heat-related deaths, power outages reported as record temperatures set across state

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-20 02:12:53-04

Temperatures near or above 110 degrees this weekend led to a deadly couple of days on Arizona trails.

Phoenix firefighters responded around 9 a.m. Sunday for a woman who stopped breathing while out riding a mountain bike. She was hospitalized, but later died due to complications from suspected heat-related illness.

Also, authorities in Pima County said two people, a woman and a man, had to be airlifted while hiking Finger Rock Trail in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. The two did not have water and went off the trail, reports ABC15 sister station KGUN9.

The woman later died at the hospital, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Office. Later in the day, first responders said an adult man from out of the country died while on a trail in Ventana Canyon, another entry point to the Catalinas.

The three deaths come one day after Anthony Quatela III died before first responders could get to him while hiking with a friend in the Superstitions, according to Pinal County deputies. Authorities said Quatela and his friend ran out of water before beginning to experience the symptoms of heat-related illness.

Glenn Lee, visiting the Valley from Chicago, started a hike up Camelback Mountain Sunday afternoon.

He soon turned back. “It was the heat, the sheer heat, the elevation,” Lee said.

A park ranger warned Lee about the dangerous heat before the hike and told him about Quatela’s death Saturday.

“Because I heard that, I said, ‘OK, let me limit myself, if I can’t take it anymore I’m not going to stress myself.’” Lee turned around after about ten minutes on the trail.

The heat in the Valley and throughout the state was among the hottest that many points had ever seen.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix reported a high of 118 degrees at Sky Harbor International Airport, breaking the previous mark of June 19 of 115 that was set in 1968. The high temperature is also tied for the fifth-highest temperature ever recorded in Phoenix. 

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Elsewhere across the state, meteorologists in Tucson reported a temperature of 115 degrees, which ranks as the third-hottest temperature ever recorded in the city. It was a similar story in Yuma, where a reading of 120 degrees placed it tied for fourth on that city's all-time list. In Flagstaff, Sunday's high of 93 was just high enough to top the previous high of 92 set in 1936. Prescott's daily high of 99 was replaced by 102, coming within two degrees of tying the all-time high.

The record-setting temperatures put strain on the state's electrical grid, with both SRP and APS reporting occasional outages of several hundred to thousands of customers. Blown fuses and failed transformers are the most-cited causes for SRP's outages, according to the company's website. The APS outages are listed as under investigation.

Check power outages in your area below:

APS outage map

SRP outage map