County caught in heat wave

Published 3:39 pm Monday, June 15, 2015



The National Weather Service has issued a warning: watch out for the heat.

Beaufort County is getting its first blast of summer with temperatures approaching 100 degrees yesterday and expected again today.

According to NWS, the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity are a potent combination, creating a situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Beaufort County Emergency Management is stressing that residents find ways to stay cool until the heat abates.

“Stay hydrated, first and foremost,” said Lisa Respess, emergency technician with Beaufort County Emergency Management. “If anyone is working outside and they start to feel, in any way, that they are overheated, to take it seriously. Take a break. If they still feel dizzy, they may need to be checked out. Heat exhaustion is a sneaky thing, It will be on you before you know what’s happening, and a lot of people ignore the early signs.”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke include confusion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, and nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Staying out of the sun, dressing appropriately for the weather and taking frequent breaks from exertion can help prevent the illness.
Beaufort County Fire Marshal Curtis Avery said the Centers for Disease Control recommend that those who work outdoors and in confined spaces be extra vigilant about the effects of heat indices rising to over 100 degrees this week.

“The main people we have to worry about are farmers, construction workers, factory workers — things of that nature, as far as hot occupations go,” Avery said.

The county will be taking precautions with its own firefighters, too. This week, more fire departments will be called to any structure fire — more firefighters on the scene will allow for more breaks away from the heat to avoid heat exhaustion, Avery said.

Respess said to be looking out for neighbors — check on the elderly to make sure they have the means to keep cool — and for rapidly changing weather.

“Whenever we have heat that is this intense, it always comes with the threat of volatile weather — very sudden thunderstorms, tornadoes. This is the time of year when it will catch us off guard very quickly,” Respess said.

Temperatures are expected to hover around 100 degrees today and the mid-90s midweek, before dropping back down into the low 90s for the weekend.