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Roundup: Texas Electric Grid Sees Record Demand

ERCOT Control room
ERCOT Control room

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-980310.mp3

Dallas, TX – The Texas electric grid managers say power demand reached record a record level for a second consecutive day as much of the state saw record heat.

A statement from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the grid, says demand reached a record 67,929 megawatts between 4 and 5 p.m. Tuesday. That beat the day-old record by just over 1,000 megawatts, but ERCOT expects a record demand of 68,100 megawatts on Wednesday.

The demand spike came as temperatures reached 110 degrees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the hottest reaching North Texas had seen since 2000 and just 3 degrees shy of the all-time record set in 1980.

Coach Death Due To Heat & Heart Disease

The Medical Examiner's office confirms that 55 year old Wade McLain died of hyperthermia, or heat stroke, and underlying heart disease.

In Dallas County there have been 12 heat deaths. Medical Director Dr. Steven Harris says there are three major types of heat illness. Heat cramps and heat exhaustion include symptoms of abdominal or leg cramps, headache, nausea and excessive sweating.

Harris: Heat stroke on the other hand usually is characterized by very high body temperature, as high as 106 or 107 degrees, but you don't get any sweating. This is often associated with rapid loss of consciousness and then death can follow quickly if it's not treated immediately.

Wade McLain coached at Prestonwood Christian Academy. Monday was the first day of high school football practice.

Religious figures oppose Perry prayer event

A group of Houston religious leaders are voicing concern over Gov. Rick Perry's day-long prayer meeting.

More than 50 religious and community leaders signed a statement questioning what they call the "exclusionary" nature of the meeting. Perry is hosting the Saturday event at Houston's Reliant Stadium.

Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders said Perry's action sends "an official endorsement of one faith over all others, thereby sending an official message of religious exclusion and preference to all Texans who do not share that faith."

The statement spearheaded by the Anti-Defamation League urges elected leaders to not impose their beliefs on others or divide citizens along religious lines.

Asked about the statement, Perry aides say he "looks forward to attending 'The Response, a day of prayer and fasting for our nation."'

NASA: Columbia shuttle item found in Texas lake

A NASA spokeswoman says a piece of the space shuttle Columbia has been found in a drought-stricken Texas lake.

The shuttle broke apart and burned in February 2003, killing seven people and scattering shuttle pieces across East Texas.

NASA spokeswoman Lisa Malone said Tuesday the spherical object, 40 inches in diameter, was a tank and part of the shuttle's electrical power distribution system.

Nacogdoches police had said the tank was recovered from a lake that had seen its water levels drop because of the drought.

Sgt. Greg Sowell says the lower water level has exposed a larger than normal area on the north side of Lake Nacogdoches.

Malone says the tank will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where other Columbia debris is stored.