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Cooling centers
Community Center, 223 W. Main St., open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday
Public Safety Academy, 7602 Patriot Crossing, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday
Cooper Center, at Clinton and Lafayette streets, open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Friday
Jerry Fox Lifetime Sports Academy at the McMillen Park Golf Course clubhouse, open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Friday
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Patience Collins, 8, hits a water balloon during Splash Day before Wednesday afternoon's TinCaps game at Parkview Field. Staying cool will be important as temperatures will likely surpass the 100-degree mark.

Heat milestones in jeopardy

Record temps likely; warnings, vital tips issued

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Diana Buchwald offers free water from St. John Lutheran Church to motorists on Jefferson Boulevard on Wednesday.

Wear loose clothing.

Wear sunscreen.

Drink water.

Stay inside.

If you must go outside, did you catch that thing about sunscreen?

Today, the temperature could climb to as high as 106 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

That would tie an all-time city record set three other times – in July 22, 1934; July 14, 1936; and June 25, 1988.

The record high for June 28 is 102 degrees set in 1934, and the next-highest mark is 98 degrees set in 1944.

All of that means that the weather service is issuing excessive heat warnings. And it also means that if you listen to the radio, watch television or read the newspaper, expect tips ad nauseam on how to stay cool and, more importantly, safe during hot weather.

They're coming from a bevy of government agencies, including the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, city of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and the Allen County SPCA.

Tips like:

Don't leave pets in the car.

That applies to your kids, too, by the way.

Speaking of pets, keep them in air conditioning if possible and don't walk them as much. If they must get a walk to relieve themselves, avoid hot pavement so they don't hurt the pads on their feet.

Don't drink so much soda or beer today.

Stay in air conditioning if possible. If not, stay on the lowest floor of a building. Draw shades and blinds to keep the sun out.

Don't overexert yourself in the sun.

Walk slower.

If you start experiencing nausea, vomiting, headache, fainting, weakness or cold, clammy skin, you might be suffering from heat exhaustion. If that goes untreated, it could lead to heat stroke. And that means hallucinations, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate or pulse, seizure and maybe even a coma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 675 people die every year from complications tied to extreme heat.

That's more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, lightning or any other weather-related event combined.

If you have the above symptoms, get help.

And don't throw cigarettes out your window. Remember, we're in the midst of a drought that is showing no signs of letting up – at least within the next seven days. That means fires can start easily in the grass.

"It's pretty dangerous for fire weather conditions," said Courtney Obergfell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's office in Syracuse. "With low humidity and gusty winds, any fires that do start can spread pretty fast."

Remember too there are currently no residential fireworks allowed in Allen and other counties, as many have enacted burn bans to stop the spread of grass fires.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is also warning residents about elevated ozone levels.

The agency is encouraging people to walk, bike or carpool if possible and avoid drive-thru restaurants or keeping a car idling longer than 30 seconds.

"Anyone sensitive to poor air quality may be affected when ozone levels are elevated," IDEM said in a statement.

Even vehicles can be adversely affected in the heat.

Car batteries are more likely to die, in fact, in the summer than the winter. More stress on the air conditioning and radiating systems could lead to more broken belts.

"Ninety-five degrees and above is usually worse than cold weather," said Bob Jacobus, of Fox & Fox auto service in Fort Wayne, who added that routine vehicle maintenance is what can best combat summer heat. "It's contrary to what people think."

Both Kendallville and Fort Wayne are also creating cooling centers in various parts of each city, where people can get water, get hydrated and get out of the sun.

"The cooling centers are designed to bring relief to those without air conditioning and anyone who may be suffering under extreme heat conditions," Mayor Tom Henry said in a written statement. "I encourage residents to be good neighbors and check on those with health conditions or shut-ins who may need some assistance."

After Friday, when highs are forecast in the upper 90s, conditions will moderate – but barely.

Normal high temperatures this time of year are in the mid-80s. But for the next seven days, expect temperatures well into the 90s. And don't expect any rain.

And don't forget everything that will keep you safe in the heat.

"It won't be 100 but will still be pretty hot," Obergfell said of the upcoming weather.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

Kendallville

Due to extreme temperatures today, the Cole YMCA and the Kendallville City Hall will be designated as cooling stations.

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