Fri June 29, 2012
Extreme heat not expected to let up any time soon
Oppressive heat and triple-digit temperatures continue to blanket the Midwest from Ohio, down through drought-plagued Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.
With high temperature records being surpassed left and right the National Weather Service is forecasting St. Louis will reach 108 degrees for the second day in a row.
The hot temperatures and dry conditions are particularly hard on those whose jobs involve being outside.
Aaron Angst installs siding and rain gutters, hard work he says, especially when completely exposed to the sun.
"The roof will actually, if you have to stand on it at any point in time…you can actually feel it burning through your shoes,” Angst said. “It's unreal, I've never seen it this hot, this early."
The high pressure system is expected to stay put well into next week.
The searing heat presented a challenge for the Saint Louis Zoo, which is providing misting machines, fans and cooling stations for visitors and is also providing ice-treats to cool down the animals.
Daniel Dial is the owner of Dial Deck and Fence Company. He says starting work before dawn helps to avoid the hottest part of the day, but the exhausting work still has to get done - heat or not.
Over the year Dial says he's developed a method for coping with the searing St. Louis summers.
“You open up your hat size about three notches,” he said. “Then you get a terry-cloth rag, pour ice-water on it, put it on your head, put your hat over the rag and put your hat on so it doesn't dry up real quick. You're good for 20 minutes to a half-hour, do it again. It's amazing how much it will save you."
Dry conditions frustrate city officials
Farther south the level on the Mississippi River has dropped so low that the Dorena-Hickman Ferry linking Southeast Missouri with Kentucky has stopped operations.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has also cautioned drivers to be on the lookout buckling pavement on roads and bridges which is caused when high heat causes pavement to “blow up.”
Across the state towns and cities are also calling off fireworks displays set for the Fourth of July and also telling residents not to shoot off their personal stashes of bottle rockets and Roman candles.