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Temperature may break record today

July 05, 1999|By BRUCE HAMILTON

-- Tips to beat the heat

A heat wave maintained its grip on the area Monday as temperatures in Washington County climbed to 99 degrees.

It was the third day in a row the mercury climbed above 90 degrees and the five-day forecast called for little relief before Friday.

A weak cool front could loosen the sun's stranglehold Wednesday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jim DeCarufel.

"We still have tomorrow to get through," he said.

Despite the humidity and oppressive heat, Tri-State hospitals and emergency agencies reported few weather-related emergencies.

Washington County Hospital reported no heat-related admissions.

"Maybe it's because people are listening to what we say, like 'stay indoors,'" said Vicque Charrett, spokeswoman for City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va. "It was just too hot to stay outside."

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By 3 p.m. Monday, City Hospital hospital reported no heat emergencies. Soon afterward, however, seven people were admitted for heat exposure.

Five of those were evacuated from the nearby Care Haven nursing home, where propane in a hot water heater caught fire. The 68 residents were taken outdoors and to the hospital as a precaution.

Two other patients had heat exposure in separate incidents, Charrett said. Frederick County Central Alarm reported a Sabillasville man was taken to Waynesboro Hospital for a heat emergency at 1:14 p.m. Further information was unavailable from the hospital.

Four other area hospitals reported no heat-related injuries.

Allegheny Power reported no major outages. Spokesman Scott Shields said the company did not set any energy usage records Monday.

"Consumption is very high and it is climbing," he said.

The record temperature for July 5 is 100 degrees, set in 1949. On today's date in 1977, the temperature reached 100 degrees, setting a record. Tying that record is possible, since the weather forecast for today is sunny with a high of 100 degrees.

Wednesday's forecast calls for a shower or thunderstorm with highs dropping to around 90 and variable cloudiness, according to the National Weather Service.

Thursday's forecast calls for more of the same: Partly sunny, hot and humid with highs around 90.

The heat index is expected to reach 110 degrees again today. The heat index indicates the combined effect of heat and air moisture on human comfort.

In other words, the combination of high temperature and high percentage of relative humidity will make it "feel" like 110 degrees today.

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