HEAT RE­LIEF ON THE WAY

AF­TER TWO SIZ­ZLING DAYS, COOLER WEATHER IS COM­ING TO THE CHAT­TANOOGA AREA

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF AND WIRE RE­PORTS

It was the hottest day of the year so far in Chat­tanooga.

On Tues­day, the high reached 99, with the heat in­dex top­ping 109, ac­cord­ing to WRCB-TV Chan­nel 3 Chief Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Paul Barys.

It was a sim­i­lar scene across the South as heat ad­vi­sories ex­tended from South Carolina to Texas.

The warn­ings came one day af­ter the tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity com­bined for a Mon­day heat in­dex of 121 in Clarks­dale, Mis­sis­sippi. The heat in­dex is what the tem­per­a­ture ac­tu­ally feels like.

Among ma­jor wor­ries were heat ex­haus­tion and heat stroke, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion.

In Chat­tanooga, the Sal­va­tion Army lo­ca­tion on East 28th Street was dis­tribut­ing box fans and bot­tled wa­ter to low­in­come peo­ple this week, while the McCal­lie lo­ca­tion was of­fer­ing a “hy­dra­tion sta­tion.”

Hamil­ton County Schools on Tues­day rec­om­mended schools keep chil­dren in­side for re­cess and out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to dis­trict spokesman Tim Hens­ley, and some lo­cal day cares also kept lit­tle ones in from the heat.

With high school foot­ball get­ting into full swing this week, player safety was also a con­cern.

Hens­ley said coaches would be mon­i­tor­ing heat in­dexes and fol­low­ing guide­lines for out­door prac­tices. The Ten­nessee Se­condary School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion, the state’s gov­ern­ing body for all high school sports, has a heat pol­icy that says all out­door play must be stopped when the heat in­dex reaches 104.

By Tues­day af­ter­noon, most out­door prac­tices had to be resched­uled, ac­cord­ing to one school board mem­ber.

The lo­cal prep jamboree will be played Fri­day and Satur­day at Fin­ley Sta­dium, with Fri­day games be­gin­ning at 5:30 and Satur­day’s first quar­ter be­gin­ning at 3:30 p.m. The high Fri­day is ex­pected to be around 90, with Satur­day reach­ing 94.

Tem­per­a­tures are ex­pected to cool a bit Wed­nes­day, with highs reach­ing the up­per 80s to 90, Barys said.

“It won’t get so hot,” he said Tues­day af­ter­noon. “It’s a short­term heat wave, and it’ll cool down [Wed­nes­day], and Thurs­day it’ll be near 90 and Fri­day near 90, which is sea­son­able. … The main thing is cooler weather is on the way.”

Else­where across the coun­try, the heat was tak­ing its toll.

In Kansas, a 2-year- old boy died af­ter he was found alone in a parked car in the af­ter­noon heat Sun­day. It ap­pears heat played a role in the child’s death, Lawrence Po­lice Chief Gregory Burns Jr. said in a state­ment Mon­day. It was about 88 de­grees with a heat in­dex of 96 in Lawrence at the time, the weather ser­vice said. The po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing.

In Spar­tan­burg, South Carolina, the Carolina Pan­thers and Buf­falo Bills were prac­tic­ing to­gether Tues­day and Wed­nes­day be­fore a pre­sea­son NFL game in Char­lotte, North Carolina. Over the week­end, Pan­thers coach Ron Rivera had some fun with Bills coach Sean McDer­mott, send­ing a screen­shot of the heat in­dex in Spar­tan­burg. It showed 110 de­grees along with an or­ange emoji face drip­ping with sweat.

“A psy­cho­log­i­cal game,” Rivera joked of the scorch­ing heat that awaits McDer­mott and the Bills this week.

In down­town Birm­ing­ham, Alabama, a pi­ano-play­ing side­walk evan­ge­list sought refuge from the sun with two um­brel­las — one over his head and the other on his sunny side.

Around the corner, artist Henry L. McShan sold his wa­ter­color land­scapes in a shady spot be­side a park. Tem­per­a­tures in Birm­ing­ham were al­ready in the 90s Tues­day morn­ing.

“I’m go­ing to be here all day. I’ve got sev­eral bot­tles of wa­ter. I’m ready for it,” said McShan, his face glis­ten­ing with sweat.

In Texas, TXU En­ergy asked its cus­tomers to dial back their ther­mostats be­tween 2 and 6 p.m. Tues­day due to the ex­treme heat. The Elec­tric Re­li­a­bil­ity Coun­cil of Texas, which over­sees parts of the state’s power grid, said it set an all-time peak de­mand record Mon­day af­ter­noon.

The Dal­las Zoo pre­pared for large crowds Tues­day dur­ing $1 ad­mis­sion day even as fore­cast­ers pre­dicted triple- digit tem­per­a­tures. A Dal­las Zoo dol­lar ad­mis­sion day in July drew more than 30,000 vis­i­tors, with tem­per­a­tures in the 90s, zoo spokes­woman Chelsey Nor­ris said.

Mist­ing tents were set up through­out the zoo for vis­i­tors to cool down. Ele­phants will be soaked with wa­ter can­nons and of­fered frozen treats, she said.

The As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this story.

STAFF PHOTO BY C. B. SCHMELTER

Kyle Nadler, with the Fa­cil­i­ties Plan­ning and Man­age­ment Depart­ment of UTC, cuts grass un­der a cloud­less sky Tues­day along the edge of the Power C on UTC’s Cham­ber­lain Field. WRCB-TV Chan­nel 3 Chief Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Paul Barys’ fore­cast is for a high of 90 de­grees on Wed­nes­day.

STAFF PHOTO BY ERIN O. SMITH

The tem­per­a­ture gauge on the Re­gions Bank build­ing reads 101 de­grees Fahren­heit Tues­day in down­town Chat­tanooga. The se­cu­rity guard out­side said he spot­ted the gauge rise to 105 de­grees at 2:47 p.m. be­fore it dropped back to 101. The heat in­dex hit as high as 109.

STAFF PHOTO BY ERIN O. SMITH

From the front, Ava Bly, 4, plays in the wa­ter as Pax­ton Bly, 2, and Uriah Bly, 5, fol­low be­hind her in the Ten­nessee Aquar­ium stream on Tues­day. The three were brought to the pools of wa­ter by their grand­fa­ther to cool off and have fun while their par­ents were at work. Tem­per­a­tures reached 99 de­grees Tues­day af­ter­noon, with the heat in­dex hit­ting 109.

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