Wednesday temp climbs to 97, falls short of record

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David Brazy
Thursday, July 21, 2011
— Faced with a week of sun, heat index readings higher than 100 degrees and no relief expected into the weekend, area residents are looking for ways to keep cool.

A popular option is to grab friends and family members and head out to a lake.

Ted Pankau, director of the water safety patrol on Geneva Lake, said Wednesday the number of boaters and people on beaches shot up this week. That, coupled with the hot weather, has caused some issues, he said.

Along with several cases of heat exhaustion, patrol members have seen an increase in boating violations, Pankau said. Officers have seen people dangling their feet off the fronts of boats, sitting on the sides of boats and sitting on swimming decks in back of boats.

“People are looking for unique ways to cool themselves off on the boat, and that is resulting in unsafe behavior and improper riding techniques,” Pankau said.

Pankau recommends boaters and beachgoers stay hydrated, and he suggests avoiding alcohol because the heat can exaggerate its effects. He also suggests boaters use tops or canopies if they have them to stay in the shade while on the water.

Pankau expects large crowds at Geneva Lake the rest of the week and through the weekend.

“We are preparing for that and adding extra crews to keep up with the demand,” he said.

In Janesville, Wednesday’s high temperature was 97 degrees—falling short of the record high for July 20 of 104 degrees in 1930 and 1934.

Dean Clinic East Urgent Care, Madison, reported eight cases of heat related illness and Dean Riverview Clinic, Janesville, reported three cases. Aura Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn, did not have any heat related cases as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

No heat related deaths had been reported to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as of 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Designated as a cooling station, the Salvation Army, 514 Sutherland Ave., Janesville, will allow anyone to come sit in the air conditioning and have water from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Maj. Bob Fay of the local Salvation Army branch said the facility had about 18 people come in Wednesday.

The National Weather Service’s excessive heat warning will remain in effect until 9 p.m. today. High temperatures are forecast into Friday, but the humidity is expected to drop.

Last updated: 5:51 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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