Council gritters were hitting the scorching streets of the Midlands today to beat commuter meltdown.
Temperatures are expected to soar to a sweltering 95F (35C) today - making the city hotter than holiday destinations such as Ibiza, Benidorm, Tenerife and Crete.
The heatwave was already causing problems yesterday for commuters, the elderly and the water authority.
Gritters - usually used to spread rock salt over ice - have been out in Staffordshire to spread crushed granite dust to create "non-stick" roads. And in Birmingham the Cross City line between New Street and Lichfield was suspended at 3.40pm when a piece of railway track buckled in the heat out-side Aston.
Rush hour commuters were forced to use a bus service.
Meanwhile Severn Trent was urging customers to conserve water, announcing a ten per cent rise in consumption in last week's hot spell - the equivalent of an extra 800,000 people.
The firm yesterday urged customers to swap baths for showers and sprinklers.
And a Level Three health warning was issued by the Government, requiring primary care trusts and care services to monitor the heat-wave and provide care for those most at risk from effects such as dehydration and heat stroke.
Yesterday an elderly woman was treated for heat exposure in a leisure centre car park in Coleshill, and West Midlands Ambulance paramedics treated 237 people for breathing disorders. Fire-fighters have also been busy, responding to a surge in grass-fires.
On Tuesday officers from Shropshire Fire Service were called to a 22-acre blaze in a field of straw in Little Barnsley, near Bridgnorth.
A spokeswoman for Staffordshire County Council said gritters were being targeted at recently renovated roads. "The rock dust soaks up the melted tar and dries the road out and cools it down, preventing cracking and pot holes," she said.
Showers are expected tonight or tomorrow morning but temperatures are set to stay high.