Wild Weather Causes Concern

Parts of the nation are experiencing extreme conditions this summer. Heat and drought are plaguing the Northeast, while floods cause trouble in the Southeast.

Heavy rains have ended the drought that had Savannah, Ga. and most of the Southeast in a stranglehold, reports Carson Chandler of CBS Affiliate WTOC-TV. More than a foot of rain has fallen in Savannah in the last 24 hours and there's more in the forecast.

The weather played absolute havoc with traffic all over the Savannah area Tuesday. Hundreds of drivers needed police assistance to get their stalled cars out of the rising water.

In some neighborhoods, residents were forced from their homes onto the flooded streets. People used whatever they could—rafts, boats and large trucks—to navigate through the roads turned rivers.

Thousands of homes sustained damage in low-lying areas. Luckily, though, there arenÂ't many injuries to report.

The governor declared a state of emergency in Savannah to help start the cleanup process and help people get back on their feet.

In Alabama Tuesday, authorities said three people died in flooding from a round of torrential rainstorms.

On Sunday, baseball-sized hail stripped branches from trees, smashed windows and cars, and injured about two dozen people in the Plains states.

In Hartford, Conn., concerns are mounting due to a severe lack of water, reports Correspondent Nancy Abron of CBS Affiliate WFSB-TV.

Summer is only nine days old, but Connecticut is already experiencing dog days with record-breaking electricity usage and drought conditions brought on by high temperatures.

The National Weather Service said Connecticut is experiencing the driest April, May, and June on record.

The combination of high water usage and a lack of rainfall will prove troublesome if the drought conditions continue.

For days, warnings have come from local utilities facing strain on the power grid, which services air conditioners.

The power warning was lifted, but officials are still sweating with the return of high temperatures and no rain forecast through the holiday weekend.

Eileen Claussen

Meanwhile, scientists say the rate of global warming is higher than predicted just four years ago.

A new report from the Pew Center on global climate change inds the temperature increase will be as much as seven degrees over the next century. Experts also expect more frequent heavy precipitation and rises in the sea and river levels.

Weather expert Eileen Claussen said mankind must pay more attention to the environment.

Â"The governmentÂ's got a role to play,Â" Claussen explained. Â"A lot of businesses are reducing their emissions, and consumers and the public will have to think twice about the buildings they live in, the buildings they work in and the transportation they use.Â"

Claussen also said some of the most dramatic weather changes will occur in the United States.