Excessive heat warning issued, ‘cooling stations’ opened

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning that will remain in effect till 10 p.m. on Sunday. The warning encompasses the entire state and is part of a larger heatwave sweeping across much of the central and eastern U.S.

Widespread excessive heat warnings and heat advisories already cover the Eastern two-thirds of the country. A number of record highs and overnight warm minimum temperatures are likely. Heat indices will surge past 100 degrees and approach the 110s.

In Delaware, skies are expected to be clear tonight with a low around 78 degrees but shoot back up Saturday morning to a high of 97 degrees, according to the National Weather station in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. Saturday night temperatures are forecast to dip to a low of 79 and again rise up to a high of 98 degrees on Sunday. Though Sunday is expected to be sunny and hot, there’s a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Next week, temperatures are expected to return to mid-80s during the day.

Cooling stations
Opening public “cooling stations” in public buildings, each county is ensuring that residents have a place to get out of oppressive daytime heat.
Kent County:
• Kent County Library on 497 S Red Haven Lane in Dover
• Smyrna Library on 107 South Main Street in Smyrna
• Harrington Public Library on 110 E. Center Street in Harrington
Sussex County:
• County Administration Building on 2 The Circle in Georgetown
• Greenwood Library on 100 Mill Street in Greenwood
• Milton Library on 121 Union Street in Milton
• South Coastal Library on 43 Kent Ave. in Bethany Beach
New Castle County:
• Appoquinimink Library on 651 N. Broad Street in Middletown
• Bear Library on 101 Governor’s Pl. in Bear
• Brandywine Hundred Library on 1300 Foulk Rd. in Wilmington
• Claymont Library on 400 Lenape Way in Claymont
• Elsmere Library on 30 Spruce Ave. in Wilmington
• Hockessin Library on 1023 Valley Rd. in Hockessin
• Kirkwood Library on 6000 Kirkwood Hwy. in Wilmington
• Newark Free Library on 750 Library Ave. in Newark
• Route 9 Library on 3022 New Castle Ave. in New Castle
• Woodlawn Library on 2020 W. Ninth Street in Wilmington
• Corbit-Calloway Library on 2nd & High Streets in Odessa
• Delaware City Library on 250 5th Street in Delaware City
• New Castle Library on 424 Delaware Street in New Castle
• Wilmington Public Library on 10 E 10th Street in Wilmington
• North Wilmington Branch on 3400 N. Market Street in Wilmington
When visiting a relief station, please bring any medications and/or specialty items that you need.
Residents and visitors are urged to limit exposure outside, particularly during the hottest part of the day – roughly from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. Those who must be outside should take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of water.

Hot weather safety tips:
• Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing. Lighter clothing deflects sunlight, and will not absorb heat like dark materials do;
• Stay in properly ventilated areas;
• Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day;
• Have plenty of water available. Avoid alcoholic beverages;
• Be aware of the signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and seek medical attention if necessary. Signs of heat cramps can include muscular pains and spasms from heavy exertion. Resting in a cooler area, taking occasional sips of water and stretching the muscle mildly can counter the effects of heat cramps. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are much more serious and may require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include a pale or flushed appearance, as well as headache and nausea. Heat stroke symptoms include rapidly increased body temperature, loss of consciousness, rapid or weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing.
Be sure to check on friends, relatives and neighbors, particularly the elderly and young children, who may be at risk for exposure to the heat. Remember to give pets extra water, provide shade or bring them into a residence where temperatures are cooler.
It is also important to keep in mind that due to the higher temperatures and humidity expected in the area over the coming days, demand for electricity will increase.
In an effort to reduce costs and avoid power shortages, the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center asks all residents and business operators in Sussex County to help conserve power to avoid outages.
Help conserve electricity by taking the following steps:
• Set air conditioners to 80 degrees, or use fans instead, and minimize the opening of refrigerators and freezers;
• Limit the use of electric water heaters and turn off non-essential appliances and lights;
• Delay using high-energy appliances, such as washing machines and dryers, until after 8 p.m.;
• Prepare light summer meals that require minimal, if any, cooking. Try using an outdoor grill or microwave oven instead of an electric range;
• Keep window shades, blinds, or drapes closed to block the sunlight during the hottest portion of the day;
• Move lamps, TVs and other heat sources away from air conditioner thermostats. Heat from those appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause an air conditioner to run longer than necessary;
• Move furniture and other obstacles from in front of central air conditioning ducts to allow cooler air to circulate through rooms more freely.
Businesses can conserve electricity by:
• Raising thermostats;
• Turning off unnecessary lighting and equipment.
County residents also are reminded to create a Safety Profile for their household and loved ones with the county’s free Smart911 service, which provides potentially critical, life-saving information to first responders in an emergency.
Profiles can contain as much or as little information as users want, including details about their properties, special medical conditions and family contacts.
Visit www.smart911.com to get started.

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