Summer Off to Scorching Start in Northeast, Midwest

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Summer is officially here and it's off to a record-breaking start. From coast to coast, extreme heat is gripping the nation.

Forecasters predict 48 states will be hit by 90-degree weather until Saturday, but in many places it already feels much hotter.

"We're forecasting above normal temperatures for most of the country, especially in the central states where there's been expanding drought, and especially in the Southwest, which has been suffering through a very rough wildfire season," Chris Vaccaro, with the National Weather Service, said.

In Connecticut, a high school graduation turned into a "mass casualty" event after at least 15 people passed out from the heat, and more than 18 ambulances had to be called.

"It's too hot. So I just heard their name called so now I'm leaving. It's too hot," Ruby Green of New Britain said.

Emergency cooling stations are open in New York City, where some thermometers reached 120 degrees.

"Check on your neighbors, especially seniors and those who have chronic health conditions or special needs. Make sure they're drinking water and staying cool," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Farmers across the Midwest are worried the heat and lack of rain will destroy their crops.

Even animals at the national zoo are trying to stay cool. Tigers were given meat flavored popsicles and the elephants piled on the dirt, which acts as a natural sunscreen.

In Duluth, Minn., a different type of severe weather has residents heading to emergency shelters. Torrential downpours dumped at least 10 inches of rain on the city. The mayor declared a state of emergency because of serious flooding.

"I never got flood insurance because I figured I didn't need it. Now I need it," flood victim Richard Hnatek said.

Many roads were under water, causing sink holes and mudslides. City officials are encouraging people to stay home not only because of flooded streets but also because of the difficulty in spotting hidden hazards.

Nick Weber, who drove into a sinkhole, knows the hazards firsthand.

"Water was gushing everywhere and when we came it looked like the rest of the road. I mean we obviously didn't see it or we wouldn't have driven into it," he said.

The hot temperatures are expected to stick around until at least the weekend, and meteorologists warn it could get even hotter before then.

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