Residents endure Mother Nature's hot temper

August 02, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - When she saw that temperatures Tuesday would be just a shade below 100 degrees, Carole Smith decided to give away something everyone would want.

She even made a sign - "Free ice water."

Smith is store manager at World Treasures Thrift Shop on East Franklin Street, where she set up a cooler filled with water and plastic cups for shoppers or anyone who walked in off the street.

The high temperature Tuesday was about 94 degrees, AccuWeather meteorologist John Gresiak said. Today's high was expected to reach 99 degrees, he said.

He said the heat index today would make conditions feel like about 110 degrees. The heat index is what the temperature feels like when temperature and humidity are combined.


Danielle Myers, 14, of Hagerstown, said when she and her friends heard a heat wave was headed to the area, they decided to head to the pool.

They got to Claude M. Potterfield Pool in Hagerstown about noon, when the pool opened, Danielle said.

"It cools me off," said William Brown, 16, of Hagerstown.

Heather Smith, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was at the pool with her 5-year-old son, Nikie.

"It's just so hot," she said. "I had the day off, and I wanted to spend the day at the pool."

Smith said Nikie enjoys going to the pool and stays in it for hours at a time.

"He gets out to get a drink and then goes back in again," she said.

Patty Coblentz of Hagerstown was at the pool Tuesday afternoon with her 12-year-old triplets.

"It's the only place to be," she said. "That and in the (air conditioning)."

Coblentz said she and her children - Ethan, Evan and Erica - were planning to go back to Potterfield Pool again today.

"This is the happening place for the week," she said.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a hot weather advisory Tuesday based on predictions that the heat index throughout most of the state would be about 105 degrees, according to a release.

"When these two factors combined to create a heat index of 105 degrees, individuals must be especially cautious and take precautions to reduce the risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion," said department secretary S. Anthony McCann. "These two serious health conditions typically occur during hot and humid conditions."

Allegheny Energy asked customers to conserve electricity Tuesday, especially from 3 to 7 p.m. Demand for electricity was expected to reach record-breaking levels as the excessive heat and humidity continued, the company said.

Allen Staggers, a company spokesman, said the company's average daily energy usage is 7,000 to 8,000 megawatts. By 5 p.m. Tuesday, Staggers said 8,600 megawatts had been used. He said the most energy is typically used from 5 to 6 p.m.

"That's about the time when everyone gets home and does something," Staggers said.

He said there were no widespread problems in the area due to the heat. A small distribution transformer overloaded Monday night in Clear Spring and left six people without power for several hours, he said.

"As long as we have this high heat and humidity and extra demand for electricity, we would always ask customers to conserve electricity," he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles