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Expected heat prompts safety warnings

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Sadie Denard, 14 months, is held by her sister Zahra, 7, as they slide down a water slide at Splashpoint Monday, June 18, 2018. (Juliette Cooke/The Daily Reflector)

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By Maya Jarrell
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Officials are warning residents to take precautions as temperatures are expected to hover in the high 90s this week with a heat index breaking into the 100s

Due to the combination of high temperatures and high humidity, a heat advisory will be in effect from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

“The worst days are going to be (today) and Wednesday, but it will still be pretty hot throughout the rest of the week,” Shane Kearns of the Weather Service office in Newport said. “Upper 90s for (today) and Wednesday, and then that combined with the humidity will give us heat indexes of 105-110.”

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services warned residents to be aware of the symptoms of heat illness including muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea and vomiting. The state sees about 3,000 heat-related emergency department visits each summer.

It is easy to reduce the risk of being affected. DHHS says residents should increase fluid intake, take frequent breaks, reduce activity levels and avoid prolonged periods outdoors if possible. Do not leaving children or pets unattended in vehicles that are not running.

"High temperatures, along with high humidity levels can be dangerous,” said State Health Director Betsey Tilson said. “People spending time outdoors for work or recreation should protect themselves from the sun and drink plenty of fluids to minimize risk of heat-related illness.”

Other than the possible health risks, there are some other things to be aware of in times of high heat.

“High temperatures and humidity can account for high energy and water usage, and that can mean higher utility bills,” Greenville Utilities spokesman Steve Hawley said. “The outside temperatures force even the most energy-efficient homes to consume more power for cooling, and thirsty lawns soak up more water from irrigation systems. Using energy and water wisely is critical, especially when temperatures soar.”

Hawley suggested setting thermostats at 78 degrees, using portable fans alongside air conditioning, replacing or cleaning filters monthly and making sure that lamps and TV sets are placed away from the thermostat, as a few ways to use electricity more efficiently.

Contact Maya Jarrell at mjarrell@reflector.com and 329-9590.

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