Central Kentuckians taking steps to beat the summer heat

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington remains under a heat warning Friday, with officials upgrading the city's emergency summer weather plan to level three.

Photo: WKYT/Angela Reighard

The heat isn't isolated just to Lexington - groups of all sorts across the Commonwealth are taking steps to beat the heat.

Here's how several people are battling the extreme temperatures:

Lexington workers taking steps to beat the summer heat

For most, the high temperatures mean staying inside and trying to keep cool. Workers whose employment takes them outside, however, are having to take steps to ensure their safety under the sun.

Workers with the Sanitation Department, for example, got an early start Friday morning, in an effort to complete their routes before temperatures rose. As of noon, some crews were still out, but most had already completed their routes.

Meanwhile, a Habitat for Humanity build over on East 6th Street saw plenty of people doing heavy lifting in the blistering heat.

Builders are making it work, however, keeping plenty of water on-hand, taking frequent breaks, and even implementing a buddy system to make sure no one gets overheated. Crews also started construction early, and plan to end early as well.

A project manager told WKYT that even though temperatures are high, crews are staying focused on the importance of their work as a service of the community.

Teams are ensuring they have plenty of water on hand, so they won’t get overheated.

Summer camps adjusting routine as temperatures spike

Pepperhill Summer Camp in Jessamine Count is just one of many camps having to adjust to the heat to keep everyone safe.

As temperatures quickly rise into the 90’s Friday and heat index values rise into the triple digits, the risks for heat-related illnesses and stress increases significantly.

The heat has also prompted excessive heat warnings and advisories across the state and is causing summer camps to adjust their outdoor activities.

For those at Pepperhill Summer Camp, they have been making sure to keep plenty of water on hand to keep their kids hydrated, and they're allowing plenty of time in their pool and pond as well.

"It's important to do these things, number one so that the kids don't get overheated,” says Camp Counselor Adam Prather. “Naturally they're outside, they're wanting to run around, they're going to expend a lot of energy and stuff so they can get overheated and get sick, so it is a safety matter, but at the same time it's also just for fun. If kids get out here and get too hot then they're not having fun and they're not learning at camp."

During hot days like the ones Central Kentucky is experiencing, counselors say they're also keeping a close eye on the signs of heat exhaustion and other symptoms, as kids are more susceptible to these issues.

Pepperhill Summer Camp has roughly 100 to 150 children each week at their program.

Madison Central HS band feel the beat, avoid the heat

The thump of the bass drum continued on in Madison County, even as heat indices reached the triple digits.

As the Madison Central High School marching band practiced, the high temperatures meant taking extra precautions to stay safe.

“The biggest thing we have to deal with is dehydration and heat,” says Madison Central EMT, Harry Gilbert. “Especially in weather like today. And if they do get overheated, we have to cool them down, make sure they drink water. We have Gatorade for them."

When the heat gets to be too much, the band takes things inside. Madison Central's marching band is well equipped with a back-up plan for practice on hot days like today.

“We will use all of our inside space, and just kind of taking the tasks of what needs to be taught and breaking it down however we can around the heat outside,” says band director David Jaggie. “We've got an elementary school across the street, we have a couple of gyms here in the building, so, we divide and conquer as much as possible."

Not only have marching bands started outdoor practice but so have several sports teams. KHSAA has regulations put in place to keep athletes safe. When temperatures reach 84 degrees, water breaks are mandatory. When the heat index is above 104 degrees, all practices must be in air conditioning or canceled.

The Madison Central band will continue to keep their eyes on the temperature for the rest of the summer and continue to keep their students healthy.

People in the band are looking forward to making it through to next week when the forecast shows more ideal practice conditions.

Emergency Mgmt. warns Boyle Co. rural workers of high temperature-related work hazards 

In the rural communities of Boyle County, there are a lot of signs of the hard work that’s being done outdoors.

“They have to get their work done, but sometimes they think they are invincible,” says Mike Wilder, with Boyle County Emergency Management. “I’ve talked to several of my family. and I told them you need to watch out.”

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can get an otherwise able-bodied person into trouble quickly.
There’s heat exhaustion and heatstroke. You can get in trouble quickly.

“That’s when you become flushed, your respiration slows way down. You do not sweat. You can actually become unconscious.”

Boyle County officials say they have not designated a specific cooling center, but if the need arises they can establish one at a moment’s notice. They say, however, there are a number of places people can go if they need a place to cool down.

“Wal Mart is a great place to go. A lot of people do that. If you walk in and say I have no cooling system, and it’s hot.”

Wilder also says to check on people, in the same way you would during other weather extremes.

“Just have to stay hydrated. People without air conditioning need to try to get into facilities like the courthouse or the library.”

He says common sense goes a long way as well and reminds those working in the sun to take it easy when the temperatures rise.

Franklin County Fair’s horse show canceled, high temperatures to blame

The main attraction of Friday night’s fair in Franklin County, the Pleasure Horse Show, has been canceled.

Fair board members tell WKYT the decision was not made lightly, but with high temperatures and a lack a shade, it’s a decision that was made for the welfare of the animals.

While the number of animal entries was down this year, fairgoers saw pigs and rabbits earlier this week. Smaller animals are shown underneath a shelter, however, while the horses are outside in an open ring.

This is the first year the horse show has had to be canceled. Even rain hasn’t stopped the event, but Franklin County Fair board member Kenneth Hockensmith says the choice to cancel was in everyone’s best interest.

“I’ve farmed for years, and we’ve seen hogs, and we’ve seen chickens, and we’ve seen horses get down and really get in some ill health from the heat and humidity.”

Hockensmith says board members talked to horse owners before making the call to cancel the event.

All other events are still on throughout the evening, and organizers say the horse show will be rescheduled at a later date.

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