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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Heat wave continues with highs in 90s

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ten-year-old Eric Hauger leaps backwards into the pool at the Greencastle Aquatic Center Wednesday afternoon. The National Weather Service has declared a heat advisory for Putnam County and most of the rest of the state for Tuesday, Wednesday and today.
It's hot. Sweltering.

So hot, you need to eat your ice cream inside or it'll drip all over your hands before it ever reaches your mouth. So hot you walk a city block and find yourself drenched in sweat and begging the sun to cease its merciless assault. Too hot, even, to swim -- well, for most people anyway. Dangerously hot -- so hot the National Weather Service in Indianapolis issued a heat advisory for Putnam County and just about the rest of Indiana for Tuesday, Wednesday and today. That means stay indoors, if you can. In weather like this, the scorching heat and oppressive humidity combine to make it fee like 105 degrees outside.

Putnam County Hospital officials warn: If you don't drink water, they'll have to pump it into your arm, instead. The emergency room has seen more than a dozen heat exhaustion cases in the last five days -- most of whom are treated with an intravenous infusion of fluids, said Vicky Trusler, a hospital nurse and case manager.

And as disgusting as it feels when sweat soaks you so thoroughly that your clothes cling uncomfortably to your body, be glad you've got it. If you stop sweating, you're in trouble. That's one sign you're dehydrated and need medical help, Trusler said. Same for muscle cramping and nausea.

But take heart, there's a respite coming, even if it is ever so fleeting.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Dave Tucek said a front bringing drier air will blow through today, which will lower humidity and drop the heat index out of the triple digits. But it's back to potentially-dangerous heat again by Sunday.

To be fair, the temperature is blistering, but it's not record-setting, and certainly not unheard of for this time of year. But according to Weather Service statistics, the average high temperature in previous years averaged 85 degrees. And as it stands now, Greencastle is staring down the barrel of at least 12 consecutive 90 degree days. That's only happened seven times in the last 50 years. The last time was in August 1995. The record in Indiana is 19 consecutive days, set back in August 1936.

At the Greencastle Aquatic Center, the pool wasn't empty, but it was by no means full, either. This doesn't surprise Assistant Manager Anna Harmless.

"It's so hot that it's too hot to do anything outside -- even swim," she said.

Greencastle resident Meridith Clifford and her two children decided to brave the inferno anyway.

But, she still wasn't entirely convinced.

"I thought that the heat would be better handled in the water, but if that doesn't work, we'll just go home," she said, as she slathered sunscreen on her kids ,who were prancing on the hot pool deck, antsy to get their singed feet into the water. Clifford has air conditioning at home.

As few swimmers were in the water, even fewer people tanned themselves poolside. Phyllis Danhour of Greencastle was one of the few people sitting out, and she was in the relative cool of a large shade umbrella -- taking a short break before she got back into the pool.

And to her, even the artificial shelter of air conditioning can't compete with the cool of a nice swim.

"I just love the water," she said.

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