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Heat wilts but does not overcome the Confederacy


In Loudon Park Cemetery yesterday, the South rose again -- and then promptly wilted along with the rest of Maryland as temperatures raced into the 90s for the eighth consecutive day.

Dressed in heavy, woolen gray uniforms, several dozen Confederate re-enactors sweated through an hourlong ceremony in their annual commemoration honoring the Southern Civil War dead.

Unlike the honorees, some of whom lay in graves at their feet, yesterday's Confederate troops looked northward for relief today the form of a long-desired cold front heading this way.

According to the National Weather Service, the cold front will arrive overnight, leading to much more civil temperatures and low humidity in the next few days.

Today's daytime high temperature is expected to be in the mid-80s.

And daytime temperatures should remain in the 70s or 80s at least through Wednesday, the weather service said.

Actually, yesterday's high of 93 in Baltimore was an improvement over the previous days, when temperatures had approached 100 degrees.

Despite the heat, the re-enactors did little complaining.

Many of them had attended Civil War ceremonies a week ago in Richmond, Va., where the heat was much worse and where there wasn't yesterday's cooling breeze.

"It was 103 degrees," said Charles Deets of Lansdowne, who was dressed in the butternut uniform of the Confederacy's Maryland Signal Corps.

"I all but passed out."

Others were not bearing up as well as the soldiers yesterday.

xTC At the Hollander Ridge Apartments on Odell Road in Eastern Baltimore, approximately 600 residents remained without air conditioning.

Two weeks ago, an electrical circuit blew out the air conditioning in the subsidized 19-floor complex, and the city says it will not be repaired until parts arrive Tuesday.

"It's miserable up here," said J.D. Adams, 67, who only two weeks ago returned home after being hospitalized for a heart attack.

"It's about 96 degrees in the apartment, and that's with the fan going."

Said his wife, Mary, "I'm ready to pass out."

In midafternoon yesterday, a few thunderstorms preceding the arrival of cooler air rolled across Maryland -- most of them south of Annapolis and across the Lower Shore.

The storms reached Ocean City by 6 p.m., with an hour of heavy rain that emptied the beach.

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