Local News

Tracking the Hot Spots Across the Triangle

Posted July 5, 1999

— Many people avoid the elements when the thermometer hits triple digits, but not everyone has that choice. WRAL's Mark Roberts hit the streets of Garner, with thermometer in hand, to find area hot spots.

It's tough enough being a stray dog, but try being one in this heat. The Wake County SPCA has no air conditioning; even with the fans going, it's a doggone 93 degrees.

About all the workers can do to ease the sweltering dog days is to provide a cool shower for the animals every couple of hours.

"It's very difficult to see the animals hot and know there's nothing we can do to cool them off other than keep the cool water there and keep their feet cool and hope the heat breaks," says the SPCA's Kim Fisher.

The heat has closed the overnight drop-off bins for strays at the shelter, but it is work as usual for some construction workers.

At a work site at the First Church of the Nazarene, Roberts measures the temperature at a sweltering 117 degrees.

After alerting the crew chief of the high temperature, workers were allowed to stop for the day, but not before Roberts recorded a worker's heat index at 105 degrees.

If you were hot today, imagine what what it was like for an elderly Garner couple. The Spittles, both in their 80s, are battling cancer and have no air conditioning. The temperature inside their living room was 94 degrees.

"I'm used to it," says Thomas Spittle, who used to work in a cotton mill.

The higher the heat index, the greater the danger to your health.

The heat index is not the temperature; it is the effect of the heat and relative humidity and the way it makes your skin feel.

Listen toan explanation from WRAL Meteorologist Greg Fishel. Heat Index Dangers:

  • When the heat index is between 90 and 105 degrees, sunstroke, heat cramps and exhaustion are possible with prolonged exposure.
  • When the heat index is between 105 to 130 degrees, those heat disorders become likely and heatstroke is possible.
  • When the heat index is higher than 130, heatstroke and sunstroke are highly likely. Tips for Saving Power
  • Keep your drapes and shades down during the day.
  • Keep air filters clean on your air conditioner.
  • Use a microwave instead of an oven so you don't heat up your house even more.
  • Turn the thermostat up a few degrees during the day.
  • If you leave home for a few days or longer, turn off the air conditioner. Renters Rights and Air Conditioning

    If you are a renter and your air conditioner goes out, you are protected by state law, regardless of what your lease says.

    The law requires your landlord to "promptly" repair all major appliances including air conditioners, but you must have your problem documented.

    "If you're having a problem with a landlord, I would definitely put it in writing and even certified mail wouldn't hurt because then you would have a receipt showing that the landlord received it," said attorney Pamela Leslie.

    If you do not think your landlord has repaired your air conditioner in a reasonably prompt manner, you can file a suit against them and it will be up to a jury to decide if the repair was made quickly enough.

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