Crazy heat! Summer starts with a bang as Phoenix temps reach 119

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Viewer sent us a photo of frying an egg on the sidewalk! (Viewer photo) Viewer sent us a photo of frying an egg on the sidewalk! (Viewer photo)
Our ICE CAM live (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Our ICE CAM live (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Thanks for the ice cream! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Thanks for the ice cream! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Summer doesn't even officially start until later Tuesday evening, but you wouldn't know if from our extreme heat.

By 2 p.m. it was already a scorching 119 degrees. That's no joke. It wasn't long before viewers started sending us photos of frying eggs on the sidewalk!

[SPECIAL SECTION: Extreme Heat]

Folks across the Valley and the state were sweating it out... searching for shade and looking for some way, any way, to keep cool.

APS RECORD USAGE

APS set another record high of 7.120 megawatts of energy consumed during its peak load period at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Peak load period is when customers use the most energy during the day collectively.  APS had predicted a summer peak load of 7.023 megawatts but surpassed that number due to a weeklong spell of temperatures ranging between 115 and 118 degrees. The amount of energy consumed also exceeded last year's peak of 7.051 megawatts.
[Related: APS sets record with Monday's consumed energy]

TENT CITY INMATES

Authorities in Phoenix are trying to keep about 350 jail inmates housed in outdoor tents cool despite the triple-digit heat. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office officials say the inmates are given unlimited access to ice water and iced towels. They say the inmates' physical condition is monitored every hour around the clock. Sunblock for inmates also is available for purchase from vending machines on site. The barbed-wire-surrounded Tent City compound of military-style barracks tents and cots opened in August 1993 as a way of easing jail overcrowding in Arizona's most populous county. In a cost-cutting move, two of the three Tent City yards were dismantled over the past two months, with about 400 inmates relocated to indoor jail facilities.
[Related: Tent City being dismantled, but some inmates still housed in outdoor tents]
 
 FLIGHTS AFFECTED

American Airlines says seven regional flights have been delayed and 43 have been canceled because of a heat wave threatening to bring 120 degrees to Phoenix. The disruptions came Tuesday. The airline says it doesn't expect any more issues Wednesday but officials will re-evaluate. The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 120 degrees (49 degrees Celsius), which is has only hit three times in recorded history -- the last time 22 years ago.
 

2 MEN HOSPITALIZED CROSSING THE BORDER

Border Patrol agents say two Mexican men trying to cross the Arizona desert have been taken to Tucson-area hospitals for treatment of severe dehydration. Agents assigned to the Nogales Station say the men were located in separate incidents Monday near Tubac. They first encountered a 36-year-old Mexican man near Interstate 19 who said he had been without water for days. Several hours later, agents responded to a 911 call and found a 39-year-old Mexican man also exhibiting dehydration symptoms.

HIKING DANGERS

Despite the excessive heat, Phoenix hiking trails remain open. Arizona has the "Stupid Driver Law," but why hasn't there been a "Stupid Hiker Law?" Robert Mann from Radix Law says that a "Stupid Hiker Law" is just not possible. To have a such a law, one way to restrict hikers would be to close off the trails when the temperature reaches a certain point. The problem is that with so many trails and multiple entry and exit points, it would not be possible to regulate the traffic at every point.
[Related: Temperatures spike, but hiking trails remain open]

I'M MELTING... I'M MELTING

We wanted to see how long it would take to melt a giant block of ice under our blazing Arizona sun. We started our experiment at noon on Monday, and we were all surprised that it has lasted this long. The block of ice has been slowly melting and dripping, but there is still some definite ice. 

Check out our live ICE CAM to see how it looks.

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

A big THANKS to our bosses today here at 3TV & CBS 5. They brought in an ice cream truck Thursday afternoon to deliver some cool treats to the employees.

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