Heat index rises

Published 10:27 am Monday, June 18, 2018

City buildings were opened as cooling shelters during business hours Monday as the heat index rose in Suffolk.

The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Southeast Virginia. Heat index values were expected to reach 100 to 104 degrees on Monday, and the heat index has the possibility of rising to 105 on Tuesday.

The heat index will also range from 100 to 105 degrees on Wednesday as well.

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Health and Human Services, City Hall and all three libraries were opened for those who need to cool down.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue advised that prolonged exposure or strenuous activity may lead to heat-related illnesses, according to a press release. They recommended that those working or planning on being in the heat should stay hydrated and stay in an air-conditioned environment, but if they have to be outside they recommend staying in the shade, if possible.

Those who work outdoors at jobs like car washes, landscaping and construction are no strangers to dealing with hot days, and after working outside for years they are used to the extreme weather.

“I really just ignore the heat,” said Decory Miller. “I make sure to drink plenty of water.”

Miller works at The Corner Car Wash on Main Street, and he, along with his coworkers, wear tank tops and shorts to keep cool during the hot days.

Miller’s favorite trick to keep cool is wearing a T-shirt on his head with a straw hat on top. The combination keeps the sun off of him and keeps him cool.

The only thing that makes the heat unbearable is if there isn’t any work for them.

“I can’t deal when there is no work when it’s hot,” James Smith said.

Those planning on being outside should plan strenuous activities in the early morning or the evening to avoid heat-related injuries, and when outside wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing.

Folks should also check on relatives and neighbors who may not have air-conditioning in their homes. A fan alone may not be enough to keep them cool during temperatures like this, and they should consider spending part of the day at one of the city’s cooling shelters.

The cooling shelters can be found at Health and Human Services, 135 Hall Ave.; City Hall, 442 W. Washington St.; Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W. Washington St.; North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road; and Chuckatuck Library, 5881 Godwin Blvd.