ER visits surge as record-breaking heat scorches Northeast

By Chelsea Harvey, Ariel Wittenberg | 06/21/2024 06:18 AM EDT

Emergency departments in New England and the Midwest have seen a spike this week in heat-related cases.

A worker wipes his face while working outside in Boston on Thursday.

A worker wipes his face while working outside in Boston on Thursday. Steven Senne/AP Photo

The Northeast U.S. is sweltering under its first major heat wave of 2024. Temperature records are toppling, emergency room visits are rising and experts say climate change likely bears some responsibility for the searing weather.

The town of Caribou, Maine, on the Canadian border tied its all-time record high of 96 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday. It also tied its all time maximum evening temperature with a low of 71 degrees. Across Maine, daily record highs were tied or broken in Houlton, Millinocket and Bangor.

Mount Washington in New Hampshire set a new daily heat record on Wednesday at 70 degrees. And Burlington, Vermont, saw its hottest low temperature on record for the month of June when the heat on Wednesday failed to drop below 80 degrees.


Temperatures were higher overall in some parts of the Northeast than in South Florida with highs in the upper 90s. Some areas in the Northeast this week have seen the heat index, a metric combining both heat and humidity, climb into the 100s.