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Air conditioning, ice help people beat heat

July 05, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

o Heat advisory in effect

o For updated weather forecasts, go to The Herald-Mail Accuweather

HAGERSTOWN -- In the blazing 90-plus-degree heat Monday, Jack Jones ventured across the parking lot of the Sheetz store at Pennsylvania Avenue and Longmeadow Road to sweep up trash.

The sun's rays reflected off the concrete as the afternoon's temperatures crept toward 99 degrees.

"This has been unreal," said Jones, an employee at the convenience store.

Jones said he has watched trees at his house starting to wither from the heat and at work Monday, he tried to dodge the sun as much as he could.

Karen Smith, who was pumping gas into her vehicle at Sheetz, talked about how she had been enduring the heat during the day.

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"It's been like this since I woke up this morning at 7 a.m.," said Smith, of Hagerstown.

But Smith said she had too much to do to slow down, so she took breaks in air-conditioned spots as much as possible and downed icy drinks.

According to local weather observer Greg Keefer's website (i4weather.net) Monday afternoon, the temperature had climbed to 99 degrees at 4:44 p.m.

That was one degree short of the record of 100 degrees set on July 5, 1949, according to Keefer's website.

It was a hard day for some, but good for people like Jason Myers, manager of Rita's at 1313 Pennsylvania Ave.

Workers at Rita's, which serves Italian ice and frozen custard, were going "nonstop" Monday, Myers said.

"It's been heavy," Myers said of his business, which he attributed to the heat and Independence Day celebrations.

To keep up with customer demand, employees were making extra ice Sunday, Myers said.

"Lots of extra ice," an employee yelled from a work area.

The public could not get relief at Claude M. Potterfield Pool because the pool is closed on Mondays.

Assistant Manager Alex Kirk said she and others spent the day cleaning, organizing and getting ready for the week ahead, which is promising more of the same.

Kirk said she and other workers took advantage of their work duties Sunday as much as possible, like standing in the water to vacuum the pool.

"(We) mowed the grass. Well, what's left of the grass," Kirk said.

Outside, the lawn had turned to a light tan color.

The region has been broiling in a heat wave that gave Hagerstown its hottest June on record.

Last month, the average temperature for the city was 76 degrees, topping the previous hottest June recorded in 1899 by one degree, according to Keefer's website.

High temperatures are expected to reach 100 degrees Tuesday and 98 degrees Wednesday before temperatures fall off to the lower 90s Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The record high temperature for July 6 in Hagerstown is 100 degrees, reached in 1977 and 1999, according to Keefer's website.

There is a chance of thunderstorms Wednesday night through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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