In the park and on the field, Fayetteville residents rely on water to stay cool

Posted June 20, 2018 4:53 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:18 a.m. EDT

— For the third day in a row, temperatures have hit the upper 90s in Fayetteville, with the heat index well above 100, forcing people who do strenuous work outside to take precautions.

Football players at Terry Sanford High School were grateful for water on Wednesday, as the heat and humidity combined to make the weather uncomfortable.

“It’s more difficult, because it’s draining all your energy out. The sun is draining all your energy with how hot it is, but if you stay hydrated, you’ll be fine,” player Leonard Mosley said.

The athletes finished their practice before 10:30 a.m., because the heat becomes too much of a health risk later in the day. The school’s athletic trainer, Sheri Squire, said she urges every player to eat a hearty breakfast and drink 20 ounces of water before they hit the field.

“We just monitor as we go. If they start to feel a little dizzy, light-headed, we bring them over, cool them down, give them ice towels and give them water,” Squire said.

Water is the answer on the turf and on the splash pad at Honeycutt Park, where children tried to keep cool.

“We got here early. We got here at 9:30 a.m. and it opened at 10 a.m., so we were out here right when it opened,” said Anica Penrod, who brought her three children to the park.

The Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation Department has extended the hours for the splash pads as a result of the heat wave. Instead of closing at 6 p.m., they will remain open until 8 p.m.

The Cumberland County Department of Social Services has opened a lobby for anybody who needs a place to escape from the heat. The agency does this when the heat index rises above 100 degrees.

The DSS is also taking fan donations to help anybody who has no air conditioning.