Record summer heat setting other records

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - This summer was the second hottest in Jonesboro, tying with the summer of 1954. With air conditioners running almost constantly, that led to record setting energy consumption.

Randy Simpkins with City Water and Light (CWL) said they reached a peak of 289 megawatts on    August 3, 2010. Temperatures that day started at 80° and topped out at 104°.

Simpkins said, "Since I've been here the past 26 years it's by far the greatest peak we've had. When I went to work here our peak was around 100 megawatts."

One might say that the increase could be due to the growth of the city, but Simpkins said that is not the biggest reason. He said the weather is almost always to blame for peaks.

Energy consumption was not the only increase that CWL experienced this year. They also saw a large jump in water usage.

"Last year our peak for any one day was 22.9 million. This year we peaked at 28.034 million," said Simpkins.

That number set another record for the utility company.

But CWL wasn't the only business affected by the extreme heat this summer. Sartin Services in Jonesboro has felt the effects too, according to Larry Vickers.

"Because of it being so hot and dry it has really affected business just a little bit. People are planting less material now because of the weather," said Vickers.

In terms of rain, we're more than eight inches behind average for the year, turning many yards brown. According to Vickers, that means less maintenance.

Vickers said, "I have noticed that has slowed down a little bit in mowing some of the properties. Primarily more with the residential properties I believe than the commercial properties."

Vickers said the heat slowed them down in more ways than one.

"During the hottest part of the summer when it was so hot, it of course affected our guys that were doing the maintenance because they had to be more careful about what they were doing," said Vickers.

Simpkins said the summer heat will still be hitting the pockets of most CWL customers soon when they receive their bills for August.

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