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Heat wave continues; deaths rise to 50

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A fire at a power substation Wednesday forced the nation's largest public utility to ask major industrial customers to reduce their electricity use as a heat wave continued to dog the region it serves.

The fire caused a partial shutdown at a Tennessee Valley Authority plant in Kentucky as temperatures were predicted to rise near 100 degrees through Friday in the Knoxville-based utility's seven-state territory.

In Nashville, Tuesday marked the 12th day of 100 degrees or above this month, the most recorded in any month for the city. Nashville set a daily record of 102 on Wednesday, while Memphis matched a 2000 record of 100.

Meanwhile, the regional heat wave's death toll grew Wednesday to at least 50, with one new death reported in Missouri and two in Alabama.

Sweltering heat was also expected to make life even more miserable in Ohio, where heavy rains have flooded towns and forced residents from their homes. The National Weather Service said temperatures are expected in the upper 90s in parts of the state, with heat indexes as high as 104.
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