Scorching heat, dry conditions stifle July 4 celebrations

By REUTERS
July 5, 2012 04:00

 
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Millions of Americans headed for parades and fireworks shows on Wednesday to mark a sweltering Fourth of July holiday, some even celebrating as the nation's founders did - without electricity.

Storm-ravaged states from Indiana to Virginia carried on Independence Day celebrations on Day 5 of a power outage caused by deadly winds ripping through the region. More than 1 million homes and businesses remained affected and thousands of utility workers stayed on the job in a scramble to restore electricity.

Sizzling heat gripped much of the nation, with the National Weather Service reporting temperatures from 90 F to more than 100 F (37.7 C)from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast.

Even sweltering temperatures couldn't wilt the patriotic spirit that drew crowds to hometown parades of marching bands, shiny fire trucks and children riding red, white and blue bedecked bicycles.

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