Phoenix among cities battling heat deaths aggressively

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PHOENIX - Heat waves have killed dozens to hundreds of people at a time in various U.S. cities, often catching local officials unprepared.

Climate scientists say more killer heat waves lie ahead with global warming, and city officials are taking note.

A number of cities get aggressive when a heat wave emerges -- especially cities hard-hit in the past, such as Phoenix, Chicago and Philadelphia.

They open cooling centers, hand out water bottles, go door to door to check on people, and even ask utilities not to shut off electricity to late-payers during a heat wave.

In recent days, much of the country has experienced dangerously high heat.

Denver just shattered a 134-year-old record of temperatures topping 90 for 19 days in a row. An excessive heat warning is in place for Phoenix, which is expected to top 110, with lows falling only to around 90.

Heat waves have killed about 50 people across the nation so far this year.