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Residents, workers try to keep cool as blazing temperatures rise

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By Amanda Kelly, Staff Writer

Temperatures continue to rise as the first day of summer approaches, including the first heat advisory of the season June 18. 

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Heat index is expected to remain in the 90s from June 21 through June 24 with the potential for severe thunderstorms June 20. 

With the heat wave, Grant County Emergency Management Director Les Whalen said there aren’t any heat shelters, but the Williamstown Senior Center, the Grant County Public Library and the (soon-to-open) splash park on Water Works Road will be places people can beat the heat during the summer months. 

Construction workers Mitch Watkins, Houston Moore and Danny Honn, who were laying blacktop at Piddle Park in Dry Ridge, said they drank nearly five gallons of water between the three of them before 2 p.m. June 18. 

“It’s just hot,” Moore said, wiping off sweat from his face. “We drink a lot of water, take breaks. We sweat out about a liter an hour [working in the heat].”

Sarah Marksbury took her kids to Eagle Creek Country Club to swim for the day, trying to beat the heat wave. 

“It’s wonderful [to have the pool],” Marksbury said. “I wish we had more like this. It’s clean, it’s safe and they have the best lifeguards. The kids have friends here — there are always people here to make new friends.”

Grant County High School students raising money with a car wash at Wal-Mart on June 18 said it was pretty hot and miserable out in the heat all afternoon. But they said it was worth it to raise money for Young Life Group members who needed help paying for an upcoming camping trip to Michigan. 

“We sprayed each other down a lot,” Makayla Centers, GCHS student, said about having the car wash. “We drank a lot of water and ate a lot because we were hungry. We pushed through to get as much money as we could even though it was hot and miserable.”

To avoid heat-related illness, the Centers for Disease Control recommends staying cool, staying hydrated and staying informed. 

Some tips for staying cool include: 

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Cotton is a breathable fabric that’s suitable for hot environments and summer weather. 

• Stay cool indoors in air-conditioned places. If your home doesn’t have air-conditioning, go to a local place that does, like the public library or even shopping center. The CDC recommends even a few hours in air-conditioning to help cool off before returning to the heat. 

• Limit time outdoors and stick to the coolest times of day, like early morning and evening. When outdoors during the day, find shade often in order to cool off and recover. 

• Cut down on exercise in the heat or find a slower pace if you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment. If your heart is pounding or you’re gasping for air, stop all activity and find a place to cool down. 

• Wear sunscreen when out in the sun because a sunburn can affect a body’s ability to cool down, and a sunburn can leave a person dehydrated. 

• Do not leave children in cars because cars can heat up quickly, reaching temperatures near 120-degrees. A hot car is dangerous for everyone, but especially children since their bodies can overheat three-to-five times quicker. 

• Avoid hot and heavy meals. 

Some tips for staying hydrated include: 

• Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. And stay away from alcoholic beverages, sugary drinks or very cold drinks because they can lead to loss of body fluids or cramping. 

• Replace salts and minerals with sports drinks, but check with a doctor if diabetic, on a low-salt diet, have high blood pressure or other chronic conditions. 

• Keep pets hydrated by providing plenty of water and leaving water in shady areas while animals are outside. 

The CDC gives the following tips on staying informed during hot weather days: 

• Check for updates on heat advisories, safety tips and cooling locations with the local news. 

• Know the signs of heat-related illness and how to treat them. Children, chronically-ill people and adults older than 65 are most vulnerable to heat-related illness, so check on them multiple times a day during heat waves.

For more information about extreme heat and ways to avoid it, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html. 

 

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