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Hot conditions steam residents

June 26, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Beating the heat becomes an art form when the thermometer climbs above 90 degrees, as it did Tuesday.

There are some things that work: Air conditioning, eating ice cream, and drinking, splashing or submerging in water.

The temperature reached a sticky 95 degrees in Hagerstown at 4:25 p.m. Tuesday, according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site. With the high humidity and low wind factored in, the heat index of how hot it felt was 104 degrees.

"When it gets hot like this, we have water battles at my house with water guns," Laura Horning said. The activity is a two-for-one deal, Horning said, because it's fun for her children and it's cool for everyone.

Sitting in a thin strip of shade at the Washington County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon, David Kirkpatrick said he was doing whatever he could to stay cool.

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"Tuesday morning, I spent most of my time in the woods," he said. "It was cooler in the woods and I guess I should have stayed there."

Across West Washington Street, Pat Yeager was in her car in the full sun. Even with the driver's side door open, it was plenty hot.

"I'm not here because I want to be - my car broke down," Yeager said. "I am here waiting for help and feeding the meter."

In the equally hot backseat, Yeager's grandson, Saul Herrera, was wishing he could get into an air-conditioned place and get cool.

"I don't have a pool," the 7-year-old said with obvious disappointment.

Nancy Blair of State Line, Pa., said she has been wearing sleeveless blouses and sandals to keep cool, a departure from her usual style of attire for work.

"You have to dress cool to stay cool," Blair said. "It's rare for me to wear sleeveless tops and sandals but this year I am."

The Dual Highway Dairy Queen had a steady stream of customers Tuesday afternoon but there were no long lines winding out of the parking lot.

"It's been a typical hot summer day here as far as the number of people," said Christina Keadle as she worked the drive-through window.

Some people feeling the effects of the heat went to Washington County Hospital's emergency department Tuesday, according to staff there.

Patient Care Manager Ruth Gallion said a number of people showed up Tuesday with symptoms of heat exhaustion.

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