Triangle sees triple-digit heat

Posted July 25, 2010 7:01 a.m. EDT
Updated July 26, 2010 4:24 p.m. EDT

— Highs reached 102 degrees in the Triangle on Sunday. The heat index, which indicates how hot it actually feels, reached 112 degrees, WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner said.

The heat index is being driven by high humidity, which can also cause heat-related health problems. High humidity keeps perspiration from evaporating, preventing the body from cooling down. That leads to heat-related illnesses.

To help protect people from heat-related illnesses, shelters in Wake County initiated the "White Flag" program. When the flags are out, shelters take all comers.

Blanche Kearney and her 9-year-old daughter, Zalika, were glad to have a cool place to go Sunday as the temperatures rose.

“You can feel it. You can tell that it is 100 degrees because by the time you get outside and you take a few steps, you feel the heat,” Kearney said.

The Kearneys were among 40 homeless people who took shelter from the heat at the Salvation Army at 215 S. Person St. in Raleigh. The shelter is over capacity but when temperatures climb above 90 degrees, no one is turned away.

“Some of these are families that have been living in their cars. You can imagine the expense it costs to run the AC in your car all night,” said Paige Bagwell, executive director of development for the Salvation Army of Wake County.

Shelters in Wake and Durham counties helping people get out of the heat are:

  • Durham Rescue Mission Men's Division, 1201 E. Main St., Durham (men)
  • Durham Rescue Mission Women and Children's Division, 507 E. Knox St. (women and children)
  • South Wilmington Street Center, 1420 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh (men)
  • Helen Wright Center for Women, 401 W. Cabarrus St., Raleigh (women without children)
  • The Healing Place of Wake County, 1251 Goode Drive, Raleigh (women without children)
  • Salvation Army, 215 S. Person St., Raleigh (women with or without children)
  • Raleigh Rescue Mission, 314 E. Hargett St., Raleigh (women with or without children)

View Triangle homeless shelters in a larger map

Sunday's triple-digit high beat a record of 98 set in 1949. Temperatures are expected to cool off some heading into the workweek.

"We are going to see temperatures in the 90s, not in the lower 100s," Deaner said.