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Heat, humidity slow down the pace of life

August 27, 2013
By Steve Browne , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - Temperatures rose into the 90s this week, causing Marshall schools to let out early on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday is predicted to cool off a little, then temperatures are expected to rise again.

Everybody has ways of dealing with the heat, especially those who have to work outside.

Larry Swann is a construction foreman with R&G Construction company in Marshall.

"Hydration," Swann said, "and you just have to take a few breaks now and then."

Rick Schaeffer, R&G's office manager said they haven't made plans yet, but last year during high summer the company rotated ground crews in an out of the air conditioned building.

"For the most part you have to watch out for the guys on the ground," Schaeffer said. "The guys in the machines often have air conditioning."

Fact Box

Summer weather affects schools

Schools make it a practice of letting out early because of bad snowstorms, but this week, it's the heat and humidity that's leading to early-outs. The Marshall School District joined numerous others in southern Minnesota in letting students out early Monday because of the weather conditions. A heat warning is in effect through today with temperatures expected in the upper 90s and heat indexes into the 100s. Students in Marshall were dismissed at 1 p.m. Monday and will be let out at 1 p.m. again today. Wednesday is scheduled for the regular, pre-determined 2:20 p.m. early dismissal. Tuesday's Marshall soccer game and tennis match have been postponed, and ninth-grade football has been rescheduled to Thursday. The volleyball team will practice in the high school Tuesday as scheduled. Practices for football, cross country and tennis are slated for 6:15 a.m. Swim practice will be at SMSU after school.

Missy Jones, manager at Greenwood Nursery, said the heat stress affects the plants as well as the workers.

"With the humidity it can bring a lot of fungus and disease," Jones said, "and of course we have to water every day because the wind and the heat really dries everything out."

Business has also slowed down as customers lose their taste for working in their garden, Jones said.

"I don't blame them a bit," Jones said. "We're all trying to find inside jobs."

Runnings Farm and Fleet, however, has seen an increase in business, according to assistant manager Karen Hoekstra, which is a bit unusual as its business usually decreases during the dog days of summer.

"I think it actually gets busier because people want something to do and go shopping," Hoekstra said. "That's always something to do when you don't want to spend time outdoors."

And even in the heat and humidity there are always some diehard joggers.

Southwest Minnesota State University graduate student Tyler Yule went for a run on Monday afternoon despite the heat.

"It's not too bad," Yule said. "Just stay hydrated, drink a lot of water, and stretching is very important."

Stay hydrated, cover up, and watch for signs of heat stress.

"Watch how you sweat," Swann said. "When you stop sweating, you're in trouble."



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