Bay Area heat wave: 18 heat-related deaths reported in Santa Clara County
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Bay Area heat wave: 18 heat-related deaths reported in Santa Clara County

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — The Bay Area is experiencing its second heat wave this month.

The first triggered a spike in temperatures over the July 4 holiday, contributing to at least 18 deaths in Santa Clara County.

The county medical examiner’s office says that number could rise as more deaths that occurred overnight are still under investigation.

In a statement about the deaths, the office confirmed that “two people were left homeless and one person was in a transitional housing program.”

“I can imagine that in this case, there are a lot of deaths because the body cannot withstand the temperatures in these cars and vans, you know?” said Knight of the Order of Malta Duke Powers as he delivered supplies to volunteers at a camp near San Jose Mineta International Airport.

MORE: Homeless man dies of heat exhaustion in San Jose, Mayor Mahan says

“There will be people who just can’t handle it,” said Shaunn Cartwright, a spokesman for the Unhoused Response Group.

Cartwright says that of the 18 people killed, at least six were over 50.

“People are at a point right now where they’re hungry, they’re very thirsty and they’re at a point where they just can’t help themselves. This needs to get through to them, they’re so exhausted and really on edge right now,” she said.

The county’s Office of Emergency Management has kept more than 20 cooling centers open, some operating longer, as the heat continues.

VTA is providing free rides to downtown areas through Friday.

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“If they need a safe place to go, get out of the heat, find water, charge devices, that’s available to them,” said Charles Harris, spokesman for the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Management.

The Office of Supportive Housing also went out on Wednesday to distribute water to camps.

In the meantime, they encourage everyone to check on their loved ones.

“Make sure they have enough water, make sure they have enough food, make sure their air conditioning is working. And if they don’t have air conditioning, that they can be transported to a cooling center,” Harris said.

Bay Area heat wave: 18 heat-related deaths reported in Santa Clara County

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