US heatwave: Police tell criminals to take the weekend off as temperatures soar

21 July 2019, 17:41 | Updated: 22 July 2019, 04:54

Police in the US have told criminals to take the weekend off as a sweltering heatwave causes disruption across the East Coast.

In a tongue-in-cheek plea on their Facebook page, officers in Boston wrote: "Due to the extreme heat, we are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday.

"Conducting criminal activity in this extreme heat is next-level henchmen status, and also very dangerous."

High temperatures and humidity levels resulted in several events being cancelled. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the heat caused a drawbridge to get stuck open - sparking travel chaos for residents and beachgoers.

A Times Square commemoration of the 1969 moon landing, and an outdoor festival featuring football star Megan Rapinoe and musician John Legend, were among the events called off.

In New Hampshire, rescue crews saved a 29-year-old hiker after he was overcome by the heat in the White Mountain National Forest.

The Carolinas up to Maine were expected to see the highest temperatures on Sunday, with daytime highs forecast to be in the mid-to-upper 30s.

Although the National Weather Service says a cold front is steadily moving southwards and eastwards across the US, forecasters have warned this could bring severe storms and heavy rain - creating the risk of flash flooding.

Hundreds of thousands of residents in Michigan and Wisconsin suffered power cuts as a result of storms on Saturday.

In Philadelphia, several hundred people were evacuated from a retirement community because of a power outage that officials believe was linked to the heatwave.

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, nine firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion while fighting a house fire in blistering conditions, and six were taken to hospital for treatment.

Experts have warned residents in affected areas to limit their time outdoors, with risks greatest for young children, the elderly and the sick.

Turning to humour in attempt to grab the public's attention, the New York Police Department tweeted: "Sunday has been cancelled. Stay indoors, nothing to see here. Really, we got this."