Record Heat Broils East Coast, Sparks Outages

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The northeastern U.S. is still suffering through some of the hottest weather in a decade.

It's anything but chilly in Philadelphia, Pa., where one man says he has the hottest job in the city.

"It feels like you're sitting on a griddle and I'm the hamburger or the hotdog," said construction worker Saheed Dillard.

Philadelphia, which saw an elderly women die as a result of 102 degree heat, has plenty of company. All along the eastern seaboard, from Massachusetts on down to Virginia, temperatures reached the 100 degree mark on Tuesday. Some people said it felt even hotter.

As far north as Portland, Maine, people sought to find an air conditioner to purchase.

"We've had calls all day," said Robert O'Brien of the Aubuchon Hardware Store in Portland. "We've had to say, 'No, I'm sorry. We're going to get some more at the end of the week.'"

In New York City, which hit a record-breaking 103 degrees Tuesday, 13 firefighters wearing heavy gear in the intense heat were rushed to the hospital after battling a fire.

"These are about the worst conditions firefighters will face," said one NYFD firefighter.

Many people have been seeking refuge inside their homes with air conditioners. However, all that energy use is draining the electrical grid. Transformers have blown throughout the East Coast. There have been several power outages and even more are predicted as the temps continue to soar.

"And all along the eastern seaboard, the power grid is strained to the breaking point," said John Miksad Con Edison, Sr., Vice President of Electric Operations.

"I do expect isolated outages," he added.

As a result, utility companies have set up command centers to monitor and maintain what is expected to be record energy use on Wednesday. But keeping all that electric power from surging is a challenge.

On Wednesday, more spotty power outages are expected as millions struggle to stay cool.

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