It’s no secret that the past couple of weeks have been hot in Delaware County.
While Oklahomans tend to expect this type of weather in mid-summer, it is still hard to take and can be deadly.
An excessive heat warning remains in effect for Delaware County until 10 p.m. Friday, and residents are urged to exercise caution and stay as cool as possible.
Afternoon heat indexes are predicted to climb into the 105 to 110 degrees range each afternoon.
And overnight lows of 75 to 80 degrees will provide little relief. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
Delaware County Emergency Management Director Robert Real said the most important thing for residents to remember is not to overexert themselves when working outside.
“Know your limitations,” Real warned. “If you have to work in the heat, take it slow and easy.”
He said it is especially important for people who are working outside to make sure that someone else is watching them or, at the very least, knows where they are.
“Someone needs to be able to find you if you should happen to collapse in the heat,” he said.
He said people who are caring for young children also need to use extra caution.
“Kids get dehydrated faster because they just run around and play without thinking twice. They don’t know they can get dehydrated,” Real explained. “Make sure they have sunscreen and plenty of water to drink.”
He said babies are especially susceptible to the heat because they can’t speak to let people know how they are feeling.
Real said another issue that people don’t commonly think about is going from air conditioning to extreme heat and back again.
“Changing from hot to cool to hot can cause fatigue as well,” he noted.
He advised keeping air conditioning temperatures moderate, rather than turning up the cool air too high so that the temperature change is not so extreme when you go outside.
County residents are reminded to check on their neighbors, especially the elderly, and make sure there is plenty of shade and fresh drinking water for outdoor pets.
Grove EMS Director Jeff Dozier said that during the heat wave of the past couple of weeks Grove EMS has only answered one call for heat-related illness.
“That’s odd for how hot it’s been,” Dozier said. “I guess people are here are used to this kind of heat.”
The other threat this time of year is severe weather.
Although Grove hasn’t seen significant severe weather in the past few weeks, a storm that blew through Wyandotte last Friday caused widespread damage to the rural area.
The National Weather Service indicated no tornado had touched down in the area, however power poles were reportedly broken in half and many trees were downed around 6:30 Friday evening.
Many residents in the area were without power for more than 12 hours. The next chance for severe weather will develop Saturday, according to the NWS.