Outdoor Workers Face Triple Digit Temperatures in Region 8

July 22, 2005 – Posted 3:52 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- The hottest weekend so far this summer is upon Region 8 with temperatures soaring into the 100's.
Many will find refuge indoors by the air conditioning...others will stay cool by the pool, at the river or at the lake, but for those who have to be outside, it's important to take every precaution.
So far, summer is sweltering...
“I spend 90% of my day outside,” said Lyn Smith of SBC.
“It’s almost way more than overwhelming; I don't know how you describe it,” said Shelby Electric employee Ulyses Hampton.
“We've had a couple of guys look like they was about to get it, so we stop and tell them that they need to go home and rest a while,” said brick layer Don Carter.
It's no fun working in the sun, but when temperatures reach this high, it's downright dangerous. The risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke goes up.
“It makes it a whole lot harder because you get dehydrated, and you are just not used to functioning in this kind of heat. You try to do certain things that usually take you 10 minutes, now they take 15 or 20 minutes, and you're like, man I'm moving slow, but then you're whole body is moving slow,” laughed Hampton.
When temperatures do hit the high marks, it's important to remember to stock up on water and not caffinated sodas. Workers who have to be outside must take extra precautions.
“The peak of the day, or the hottest part of the day is between 11:00 and 2:00 or 3:00 p.m., and I try to save things there for paperwork or ordering and different things I need to do, and try to get in a little shade if I can, which is not always feasible,” said Smith.
“I just drink plenty of water and Gatorade and take plenty of breaks,” said Andy Hunter who spent the day mowing lawns.
“When its possible, we plug fans up and kind of let it blow on us, otherwise we just tough it out like everybody else,” said Carter.
“We keep a lot of rags around to wipe the sweat and perspiration off of us. We wear hats and keep our glasses on and drink a lot of Gatorade and a lot of cold ice water,” said Hampton.
 With the hottest days ahead, it's good advice to take. Friday's highs were in the upper 90's, with the heat index registering well into the 100's.