07/08/12 — High heat not going away yet, but some relief is on the way

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High heat not going away yet, but some relief is on the way

By Aaron Moore
Published in News on July 8, 2012 1:50 AM

Wayne County residents are braving the triple-digit heat -- even if they might rather have the temperature and humidity a little more under control.

Temperatures are forecast to hit 100 today and the mid-90's on Monday. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms through the end of the week with temperatures moderating into the mid-to-upper 80's.

While roofers at J&S Roofing are used to the heat, owner Jimmy Swinson said the company has managed to avoid any heat-related illnesses by taking precautions -- and by using a little common sense.

"We make sure that we warn our men verbally," Swinson said. "We make sure they look out for one another and have extra pairs of eyes."

Although Wayne Memorial Hospital officials said they have not seen an unusually high number of heat-related illnesses, there are still plenty of hot days left in the summer, and they said people can never be too careful.

"We've only had two in the last day or so," said Georgia Dees, pubilc relations director. "People are drinking water like they're supposed to."

Staff at Immediate Care also said they haven't seen a lot of heat-related cases lately, but they are always on the lookout.

There have only been three cases of heat-related illnesses at Immediate Care in the last two weeks -- all relatively minor ones, said Denise Weir, a physician support staff member.

"Folks are drinking their water and paying attention," she said.

And part of paying attention is knowing when to walk away from a roofing job, Swinson said.

"A day like today, it's not as important to finish a roof as it is to keep everybody healthy," he said Friday, when the heat index was 101 degrees. "We pull them down off the roof more than just regular lunch breaks. I'm a real common sense kind of guy when it comes to safety."

He added that he makes his employees quit work around 1 or 2 in the afternoon to avoid the worst part of the day.

It's the same story with Goldsboro's postal carriers, who work in hot cars with the windows rolled down.

"They're advised to drink lots of fluids," said Kevin Connolly, supervisor of the Cashwell Drive office. "They take a break if needed. It's just like with any job that's outside. You keep yourself hydrated."

Luckily, Connolly said, his office doesn't have any on-foot routes, which might pose a lot more risk of heat exhaustion.

Although outdoor workers might be used to the heat, experts warn them to know their limits, drink plenty of fluids (no caffeine) and keep to the shade.

And, wherever possible, to stay indoors.