Heat wave: Derrick Harris, left, and Trent Higgs, both employees at Mickie’s Car Wash and Detail on North Main Street, try to cool down in the shade as they wait for customers. Temperatures are expected to cool down — but not much — over the weekend. (Tracy Agnew/Suffolk News-Herald)

Archived Story

Heat wave weakens for weekend

Published 10:16pm Friday, July 27, 2012

Employees at Mickie’s Car Wash and Detail on Friday didn’t mind so much getting sprayed with water while they were working. It was the in-between times that got to them.

“You’re scorching, sweating, constantly sweating,” Trent Higgs said as he and fellow employees waited on their next customer. “You don’t get mad about getting sprayed. You just keep drinking plenty of water and Powerade.”

Co-worker Derrick Harris looked on the brighter side of things.

“It’s a good weight-loss program,” he said.

The high temperature on both Thursday and Friday was 96, according to Dan Proch, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Wakefield. That’s according to a weather station in Norfolk.

Neither day quite made it into the record books. The record high from 1940 still stands for both days — 100 for July 26 and 104 for July 27.

The heat index approached 110 both days, though, and made work miserable for folks like Higgs and Harris.

“It gets hectic when you’re packed and you can’t stop and rest much,” Harris said.

Outside workers can rest easy this weekend, though. Temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid 90s on the weekend, and in the 80s into the first part of next week.

Every day will have some chance of thunderstorms, ranging from “normal summertime popup thunderstorms,” as Proch called them, next week to the possibility of severe thunderstorms on Saturday.

Even with slightly lower temperatures, people who work outside should take precautions such as drinking plenty of water or sports drinks, wearing light, loose-fitting clothing, refraining from work during the hottest part of the day — usually between noon and 6 p.m. — taking frequent breaks and watching out for signs of heat illness.

For heat exhaustion, those signs include heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea; vomiting; and fainting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who experience them should get into an air-conditioned space, drink water and cool off using whatever means available, including a cold shower or ice towels.

For heat stroke, the signs include high body temperature; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid, strong pulse; and possible unconsciousness. For heat stroke, call 911 immediately, move the person to a cooler environment and try to reduce their body temperature with cool cloths or a bath. Fluids should not be given to someone suffering heat stroke.


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