Buckling pavement in Wisconsin, fish kills in North Dakota, cattle running out of grass in Kansas and more than a dozen deaths are being blamed on a lingering nationwide heat wave.

Across the Midwest, excessive heat warnings have been in place for the better part of a week and deaths have been reported across the region, most recently on Thursday in Kansas and Illinois. Many of the deaths have been due to heart failure, yet some drowning deaths have been reported as swimmers seeking relief venture into fast-moving rivers.

Nationally, some 1,184 daily record highs have been broken so far in July, said Andy Mussoline, a meteorologist at Accuweather.