Sports and music events were cancelled in New York over the weekend as the city baked in a heatwave that was blamed for power outages affecting thousands.

And as residents tried to cool down, in temperatures hitting 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), the strain on the city's electrical systems left 50,000 without power.

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a heat emergency, as 500 "cooling centers" were opened for those without air conditioning.

The city's triathlon was called off for the first time in 18 years and a two-day festival, OZY Fest, due to take place in Central Park, was also cancelled.

The cities of Philadelphia and Washington have seen higher temperatures than Florida and Arizona, but residents and visitors found novel ways to cool down...

A girl cools off from the heat in water from an open fire hydrant in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC12AF9CC5D0
In New York, a girl cools off in water from an open fire hydrant.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Segar

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A tourist tries to shield herself from the sun using an umbrella in front of the Lincoln Memorial on a day when the temperature was forecast to reach 99 degrees F (37 C), in Washington, U.S., July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Will Dunham - RC19066D0BC0
In Washington, a tourist tries to shield herself from the sun.
Image: REUTERS/Will Dunham
A man in a wheelchair reaches down to touch a water feature in High Line Park during a period of high temperatures in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RC1F35C86D60
A man in a wheelchair reaches down to touch a water feature in High Line Park, Manhattan.
Image: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Children play in the fountain at Washington Square Park during hot weather in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, U.S., July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RC15622C01F0
Children play in the fountain at Washington Square Park, Manhattan
Image: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Kids and adults cool off in a fountain on the Rose Kennedy Greenway on the first day of a forecasted summer heatwave in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., July 19, 2019.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RC13EDBFB540
Kids and adults cool off in a fountain on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image: REUTERS/Brian Snyder