Heat advisory continues into today

·3 min read

Aug. 12—Roofers are taking extra breaks, parkgoers are seeking shade and the Tennessee Valley Authority is experiencing a 10-year high in August electricity demand for its service area as Decatur continues under a heat advisory today.

The high temperature is predicted to reach 92 to 93 degrees today, producing a heat index between 105-106, according to the National Weather Service in Huntsville. Pryor Field at Decatur recorded highs of 93 both Tuesday and Wednesday.

The heat caused a surge in power demand for TVA on Tuesday. It marked "the first time since Aug. 3, 2011, that we have been above 30,000 megawatts in August," according to TVA spokesperson Scott Fiedler.

"Temperature is the biggest driver for electricity usage. The hotter it is, the more power is used," he said.

Around Decatur, people found a variety of ways to endure or avoid the heat Wednesday.

Jasper Eddy said he coped by "just drinking water, staying hydrated" while mowing and trimming grass Wednesday at his father Dewayne's office on First Avenue Southeast in Decatur.

Jilberto Jacinto, Jessica Tomas and Jose Hernandez said they were hanging out at a Delano Park pavilion while it was cooler in the morning, and they also could stay in the shade without sweating too much. All three agreed that when the hottest part of the day came, they would move indoors.

Melinda Jones, owner of Second Read Books downtown, ventured outdoors in the afternoon long enough to deliver a package but estimated her tolerance for the heat was "probably not long, probably 15 minutes. It's hot." Asked if the heat would affect her customer flow, she replied, "I think we'll have a little less. A lot of people are staying in because of the heat."

Some companies that work mainly outdoors have taken extra precautions. River City Roofing is having its employees start earlier in the day and end work sooner, says owner Michael Muse. The employees are making sure to drink extra fluids, like water and sports drink, to make sure they stay hydrated.

At the building site of the Central Office for Decatur City Schools downtown, several members of the landscaping crew wore a wet cloth under their hat to help cool them off.

During a heat advisory, people should limit outdoor activity, wear light clothing and stay hydrated, according to Matt Anderson, meteorologist at the National Weather Service of Huntsville. Also, he said, if you must be outside, try to only do so during the cooler hours of the day and take frequent breaks.

The weather Friday and Saturday will be a bit cooler, with no heat advisory. A heat advisory is issued when the heat index is 105 degrees or above. The temperatures for Friday and Saturday will be in the upper 80s to lower 90s with a heat index near 100. Rain is predicted for Sunday, cooling things down to the high 80s and a heat index in the low 90s.

—erica.smith@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2460.

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