JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – As the Jacksonville area faces triple-digit temperatures and high humidity, people are trying to find ways to beat the heat.
Expected highs in the river town are 101 degrees with the temperature feeling up to 116 degrees.
Although the high heat is uncomfortable for most, it is dangerous for those who work outdoors or are homeless.
Rodney Watson felt the heat on Thursday as he laid out his church in Springfield.
“I don’t know how hot it is, but I know it is hot,” he said, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “It looks like 200. It looks like about 200 because you could crack an egg on the floor.”
Rico Contreras, who runs his RC Hot Dawgs business from a cart across from UF Health Hospital in Jacksonville, kept pushing in the shade of a pop-up tent.
Despite the scorching temperatures, the line for his hot dogs was still long at lunchtime. Its famous teas and lemonades sold very well.
Doctors are warning people to be careful when outdoors.
“We see more patients around lunchtime, in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest,” said Dr. Andrew Schmidt, an emergency physician at UF Health Jacksonville in Springfield.
He said days like this lead to an increase in the number of patients. He sees more people with heat-related illnesses that are life-threatening if not treated early. Landscapers, construction workers and homeless people are more likely to get sick.
“Heat exhaustion is just being tired, not being able to do what you want to do,” he said. “Heat stroke is when people start acting abnormally. What we call altered mental state. start making bad decisions.
He points out that it’s important to put that person in the air conditioning, at least in the shade, and to stay hydrated. If they’re disoriented or unconscious, he said to call 911.
The city of Jacksonville has opened 12 senior centers as places to cool down. City leaders also pointed out that public libraries can be a place to cool off. There are 21 in Duval County. The city’s 20 public swimming pools and 16 wading pools were also popular.
LISTING: Here’s where you can cool off in Jacksonville during extreme heat
This begs the question: are people buying more ice cream because it’s so hot outside?
“I mean it’s pretty good too,” said Springfield Scoops employee Mekdes Browning. “So they have both options. It’s very hot and it’s really good.
Business at the family-run Main Street store was steady throughout the day.
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