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•Indiana Michigan Power announced Saturday evening that electrical service had been restored to all its customers affected by the storms on June 29 and Thursday. Any customers who do not have electric service should call I&M at 800-311-4634.
Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Aalijah Scott, 5, pours water on Christopher Cepeda, 7, at Lutheran Park’s splash area on Saturday. Friends and families gathered at the splash area to cool off from the extreme heat.

Relief in sight after record run

1st 4-day stretch of 100+ degrees in city’s history

The Journal Gazette

If Dannie Bailey had been working and getting paid to be outside Saturday, he wouldn’t have minded the blazing heat. But sweating and suffering for free?

“Nah, nah, that ain’t cool. I just don’t see the relevance in it, you know, but you can’t help it,” Bailey said as he stood on a sidewalk downtown.

Fort Wayne’s high temperature hit 103 degrees at 3:08 p.m. to break the record for the day of 102 degrees set in 1988, according to the National Weather Service.

Saturday’s high marked the fourth consecutive day with the temperature in Fort Wayne surpassing 100 degrees, which had never happened before in the city. The previous record of three consecutive 100-degree days was set in 1988, according to the weather service, which said Saturday’s low of 77 also set a record for the highest minimum temperature.

The unprecedented heat wave came at the worst time for tens of thousands of people who were without electricity because of storms that struck the Fort Wayne area June 29 and Thursday.

As of late Friday, about 1,300 remained without power. By Saturday evening, all the outages had been repaired, according to Indiana Michigan Power.

Saturday afternoon’s intense heat made it tough for people outside to think about much else. Bailey, 48, got to reflecting on the thermodynamics of the situation.

“Everything gets hot and gives off heat in order to cool off,” he said. “So, while you’re walking through it, you know what I’m saying, you catch what the earth is getting rid of.”

The earth will likely be radiating less today: The high is predicted to be a relatively cool 86 degrees, which is normal for this time of year, the weather service said.

That relief, however, did not come soon enough for Marian Waltz, who was riding her bicycle down Wayne Street on Saturday headed to her monthly Bible study class.

“I just don’t believe in driving,” she said. “I thought about taking the air-conditioned van, but it’s wasteful.”

Waltz, 60, stopped for a break during her two-mile trek and took a sip of ice water. “We’re in the shade. There’s a nice breeze. It’s not as bad as you think,” she said.

Seth Smith, 19, also thought the heat was bearable. That may have been because he was submerged up to his neck in the fountain pool in Freimann Square.

“I’m in here because of the heat and just to clean up,” he said as he collected leaves, twigs and trash that littered the water.

Smith, who is homeless and often sleeps in the square at Clinton and Main streets, said he’s not alone when it comes to swimming in the fountain pool, which, according to a sign, is prohibited.

“In a couple hours, there’ll be about seven or eight people in here,” he said.

aingersoll@jg.net

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