06/09/11 — And the heat goes on ...

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And the heat goes on ...

By Emmett Strickland
Published in News on June 9, 2011 1:46 PM


Mail carrier Derrick Lofton wipes the sweat from his brow Wednesday afternoon while working his route in Goldsboro. With temperatures reaching the mid 90s every day for the past few days and expected to remain at that level for the foreseeable future, people working outside are using every method possible to stay cool.

Although summer does not officially begin for another two weeks, the weather report says otherwise.

A heat wave has left Wayne County residents, along with those across much of the state and nation, sweltering under temperatures that have reached the mid 90s for the past several days. Weather forecasters say residents can expect more of the same, at least for the next week or so.

National Weather Service forecaster Barrett Smith said Wednesday that an eastbound high-pressure zone hovering above North Carolina is the cause of the unusually high temperatures, with predicted highs of 90 degrees or more throughout the rest of this week and next.

Although Smith said the pressure zone will drift west later this week, which "will help to suppress the heat," he added that it is nevertheless "hard to tell how the weather is going to play out in the next 15 to 30 days."

Adding to the misery is the fact that it has not rained in the county since last month and forecasters are not calling for relief anytime soon. Today's forecast calls for a slight chance of rain, but temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-90s, with the lows tonight only dropping to about 70.

People working outside have turned to a variety of ways to try to stay cool.

Connie Hux, a mail carrier making her runs in a delivery truck with no air-conditioning, said the best way to survive the summer is to wear a hat for shade and "really, just stay hydrated."

Another mail carrier, Toni Smith, who delivers to the rural areas of Goldsboro laughed when asked the same question.

"I've got air conditioning in my car," she said, referring to the fact that only the downtown carriers are issued the traditional Post Office van, which has no air-conditioning, whereas rural carriers drive their own cars. Even so, she said, she stocks her car with bottled water and Gatorade before setting off on her route.

Ed Hardy, a construction worker at the site at the corner of Berkeley and Ash today smiled when asked how he manages to get through the day and held up a recently finished water bottle as his only answer.

"Just lots and lots of water" said another worker, who added that light clothes are essential for his job, and that, when the heat becomes unbearable, pouring cold water on his wrists helps him to stay cool.