WESTLAND, Mich. – 104°F might raise some eyebrows in Metro Detroit, but that’s a record-high temperature in London.
The dangerously high temperature is causing travel delays, businesses to close, and wildfires.
The extreme heat is also creating challenges for a Westland family visiting the United Kingdom.
“It’s like being in an oven,” said Ben Brown.
Brown is in London with his family, hoping to have a few days of vacation after a business trip.
The family knew it would be hot but didn’t know how bad it would impact their trip.
“We had dinner with some friends here that are local Friday night, and they advised us, you know, just not to take the Tube (London underground transportation system) for transportation on the weekend because there would be anticipation of significant delays, which is pretty foreign to us being from Detroit,” Brown said.
United Kingdom rail company Network Rail even warned travelers that the heat could buckle tracks.
The Browns were able to use rideshare apps.
“We traveled over ground with a couple of Uber drivers, and the fares were significantly higher, and the wait times were significantly higher because a lot of the people who actually had to be out around this time were taking that as their primary mode of transportation,” Brown said.
The heat also canceled sightseeing for the family as most places they wanted to visit were closed.
For example, St. Paul’s Cathedral made multiple posts on Facebook alerting people they would be closed Monday and Tuesday for staff and visitors’ safety.
“We’re equipped in Detroit for this sort of thing in the summer,” Brown said. “It’s kind of the norm for us. So seeing that many of the places here didn’t have air conditioning and weren’t equipped to cope with it was quite surprising,”
They were scheduled to fly out of Heathrow Airport Tuesday, but Brown said their flight was canceled due to the heat.
They rescheduled for Wednesday.
“We had to scramble to find somewhere to stay because where we were, we could no longer stay,” Brown said. “There was an Airbnb that was booked, which was quite okay because it didn’t have air conditioning.”
The Brown family found a hotel room with air conditioning. They’re hoping they could get home to Michigan soon.