Nurse, 34, killed by heat in city that's become 'uninhabitable without aircon'

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Registered nurse Jessica Christine Lindstrom was overcome by the extreme heat, emergency services said (Image: Phoenix Police Department)
Registered nurse Jessica Christine Lindstrom was overcome by the extreme heat, emergency services said (Image: Phoenix Police Department)

A nurse has been found dead after she was overcome by scorching heat in a city that's become "uninhabitable without aircon".

Jessica Christine Lindstrom, 34, went hiking on Friday morning and was declared missing about nine hours later by police in Phoenix, Arizona. Drones and rescue teams were used during a five-hour search before Lindstrom's body was found on a remote trail.

Fire Department Captain Scott Douglas said early signs suggest Lindstrom was overcome by the heat while hiking. "Unfortunately, Ms Lindstrom was in town from Oregon, where it doesn't get this hot," Douglas said.

Authorities said Lindstrom, who formerly lived in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria, was a registered nurse in Oregon and was visiting family.

Maricopa County, Arizona's most heavily populated area, reported 39 heat-associated deaths have been confirmed this year as of July 29 with another 312 deaths under investigation. At the same time last year, there were 42 confirmed heat-related deaths in the county with another 282 under investigation.

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Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, reported 425 heat-associated deaths in all of 2022 with more than half of them in July. Meteorologist Laura Tobin recently declared that Phoenix was among the world's first cities to become uninhabitable without aircon.

Nurse, 34, killed by heat in city that's become 'uninhabitable without aircon'The nurse's body was discovered hours after she went missing on a hiking trail in Phoenix, Arizona (Now At 5)

The forecaster said last month: "Phoenix has broken a record, they have had 19 days where they have had consecutive temperatures above 43 celsius, 110 Fahrenheit. They are one of the first cities in the world to become uninhabitable unless they have air conditioning. And many areas don’t.”

The National Weather Service said July was the hottest month in Phoenix on record, with an average temperature of 102.7 Fahrenheit (39.28 Celsius). That topped the previous record of 99.1 F (37.28 C) set in August 2020.

Phoenix and its suburbs sweltered more and longer than most cities during the recent heat spell, with several records including 31 consecutive days over 110 F (43.33 C). The previous record was 18 straight days, set in 1974.

The National Weather Service said metro Phoenix was under an excessive heat warning through Monday night with near-record high temperatures expected to reach between 110 degrees F (43.3 C) and 114 F (45.5) Sunday and Monday.

Saturday's high of 116 F (46.6) broke the previous record of 115 (46.11) set on that date in 2019.

Joshua Taylor

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