Excessive heat watch expected to end Sunday night

Goggle wearing Kadon Denson, 11, lifts out of the water on a hot Friday afternoon at the outdoor YMCA swimming pool on Kenton Road in Dover. (Delaware Sate News/Marc Clery)

Goggle wearing Kadon Denson, 11, lifts out of the water on a hot Friday afternoon at the outdoor YMCA swimming pool on Kenton Road in Dover. (Delaware Sate News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Bothered by the heat?

Not that much, Patrick O’Brien said.

The 17-year-old Camden resident took Friday’s sweltering conditions in stride.

“I don’t sweat a lot so it doesn’t bother me at all, really,” the teen said during a break between lifeguard duty at the Dover YMCA outdoor pool. “I could see how it would bother people who sweat, though.”

Robert Reed took off part of his Friday afternoon from his R&R Power washing business to cool off at the outdoor YMCA swimming pool on Kenton Road in Dover. (Delaware Sate News/Marc Clery)

Robert Reed took off part of his Friday afternoon from his R&R Power washing business to cool off at the outdoor YMCA swimming pool on Kenton Road in Dover. (Delaware Sate News/Marc Clery)

No matter what, everyone has their limits — O’Brien described rubbing an iced water bottle on his arms and neck when needed.

“Drink a lot of water, stay hydrated, put on a lot of sunscreen,” was O’Brien’s answer to staying safe under the sun.

Describing Friday as a “third consecutive day of oppressive heat,” the National Weather Service forecasts the current heatwave to last through the weekend.

An excessive heat watch was put in effect from this afternoon through Sunday night, with maximum heat index values ranging from 105 to 115 degrees.

Tenaciously training for an October marathon, Christine McDermott either runs before sunrise or jumps on a treadmill inside her Smyrna home. The experience of running in place for a couple of 10-milers indoors was “not great,” she said.

“Trying to beat the heat and get ready for a marathon at the same time takes some planning,” said Ms. McDermott, speaking from a shady area at the swimming pool on Kenton Road.

On yet another furnace-like day, Dover resident Michele Reeder brought her kids to the pool “to hang out.” She expected them to be exhausted at day’s end.

An especially hot day did not necessarily bring more swimmers to the pool, according to the staff.

With so many other options inside to stay cool, Ms. McDermott described her trips to the water as “hit and miss.” At times, water balloons or sprays from a garden hose would suffice, she said.

Overall, though, there’s less time spent outside during an especially challenging blast of heat and humidity.

“It’s hard for the kids because they like to be active,” Ms. McDermott said.

What’s ahead

Before a potential cold front — relatively speaking — arrives on Monday, the NWS reported that isolated showers and thunderstorms could provide a temporary letup from the heat in a few areas.

Accuweather.com predicted a high of 92 degrees on Monday in Dover, with a possible night-time thunderstorm as the temperature dropped to 74 degrees. A high of 89 degrees is forecast for Tuesday.

Following a steamy July, the Delaware Division of Public Health again issued a public service announcement Friday advising of dangers involved with extreme heat conditions.

The timing came as many families headed toward Delaware beaches for a final blast of summer vacation.

“If you’re going to the beach, great — spend a lot of time under an umbrella,” said DPH spokeswoman Andrea Wojcik.

She warned of potential sunburn coming even while in the water and pushed for liberal application of sunscreen.

“If you stick close to home, stay inside or go to a place with air conditioning,” she added.

Bayhealth was ready to treat any possible medical issues that might arise with the high temperatures.

“We are prepared to see any patient with a heat-related concern,” Sandee Gelven, director of Emergency and Trauma Services.

“In this weather, it is critical that people take precautions. Make sure you are drinking enough water, avoiding alcohol and staying out of the direct sun when possible.

“When you have to be outside, wear light colored clothing and wear a hat or sunglasses for extra protection.”

Request by city

Noting that its electric grid was operating as it should, the City of Dover’s Electric Department nonetheless asked that customers voluntarily conserve energy.

“There is nothing wrong with the electric grid; we’re just trying to take every avenue to reduce costs for customers,” the Electric Department posted online. “Your participation helps lower our community wide electric use which reduces electricity costs.”

The city has received several contacts from customers about high electric bills, and asked anyone with concerns to contact the customer service department at 736-7035 to review their account.

The city offered what it described as “simple steps” to reduce energy consumption and the resulting bill, while increasing reliability of service.
• Turn off unnecessary lights

• Adjust the thermostats up 2-3 degrees

• Delay the use of major electric appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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