Summer Brings Heat Wave Worries - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Summer Brings Heat Wave Worries

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SALISBURY, Md.- With temperatures breaking 90 degrees Monday, attention is turning to the potential threat of heat waves in Delmarva. For most of the week, the temperature is expected to hover right around this threshold. With this heat comes many dangers, such as heat exhaustion.

Wicomico County Health Department officials said that the people who are most vulnerable to such health illnesses are the elderly and the young, who are younger than 5.

Jason Outten, who works for "Hot Dog Junction," was out in Salisbury Monday. With a layer of sweat on his face, he said that the heat had made his day a little harder.

"It's very humid and sticky, but luckily there's a nice breeze today to cool you off a little bit," he said.

But that cool, breezy Monday air could turn into an even hotter, more humid Tuesday.

"When it get's hotter, people don't come out as much for the hot food," Outten said. "But they'll come out for a cold drink or an ice cream or something."

The heat brings the potential for more lethal consequences as well, if people do not take proper precautions, said Wicomico County Health Department spokesperson Tammy Griffin.

"The number one thing we can do is check on our neighbors," she said. "And educate them. Check on them, make sure they have the water that they need. Make sure that they're in a cool area."

The MAC Senior Center in Salisbury has taken additional steps to protect the many older citizens that use their facility.

"We always try to encourage them to drink plenty of fluids," said Linda Herns, of the MAC Center. "And the best fluid to drink is water. And also encourage them to stay out of the direct sunlight."

Last week, the center held an event outside at the Salisbury Park. But on Monday, when it was more than 10 degrees hotter, they decided to move all programing inside.

"We have to stay cool and look out for each other," said Peaches Wallop, a senior citizen at the center. "That's our job."

Robert Gootee was also visiting the MAC Center on Monday. He said that he has a place on the Nanticoke River, and so he deals with the problems of heat exhaustion on a daily basis. 

"I love the sun," he said. "But I have to be careful, because I get sun burnt easy."

Wicomico County officials said that cooling stations could be established following two situations: the first is excess heat and the second is power outages. They said that they will have their eyes on the thermometer as the heat continues to climb.

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